Pretty soon, we’ll see state troopers wearing body cameras while on patrol. Our state purchased 800 cams that’ll start rolling out this summer.
CT Post reports that the state Department of Emergency Services and Public Protection secured a $895,000 from the U.S. Department of Justice to buy the cameras.
In an official statement, the department said these cameras will “build trust and foster transparency.” The department also says this will help repair the strained relationship the public has with police officers.
In all, it believes these cameras will increase safety not only for people, but for officers as well.
Police brutality continues to be one of America’s leading concerns. High profile cases, some of which happened right here in the state, make front page news every time. Always, people say if those police had body cameras, the deadly outcomes of Michael Brown, Philandro Castille, etc might have been prevented.
So, now Connecticut wants to test the theory out. Last year, our state found itself in a whirlwind of national headlines when a rookie officer killed 15-year-old Jayson Negron.
Then again, police say Negron tried using his stolen vehicle as a deadly weapon and tried running over Officer James Boulay.
Would body cameras have swayed public opinion? If they caught what police officers described, maybe.
But, the Internet exists. Mainstream media exists. And with that comes individuals looking to create as much buzz as possible. Even with evidence from body cameras, people will see what they want to see.
So with that, these cameras could justify when police use excessive force. So, it could go either way. It might reduce the amount of riots… but it might increase them, too.
Either way, these cams aren’t optional. It’s all due to a state law. Our General Assembly passed An Act Concerning Excessive Use of Force during a special session.
The law mandates that police also need additional training on top of the body cameras. Yep. Police officers will also undergo training for cultural sensitivity. On top of additional sensitivity training, police will also undergo mandatory bias-free policing training.
How that’ll play out when making arrests, we just have to wait and see.
Troop I in Bethany and Troop H in Hartford will receive the cameras first. Both troops will have 100 cameras on hand at the start, so expect to see them mid-summer.
Do you support these body cams or do you think our state just wasted nearly $1 million?