BOSTON — The Boston Police Department is implementing a pilot body camera program, but at a meeting Thursday night officers made it very clear they do not support the plan.
FOX25's Crystal Haynes was there as Boston Police Commissioner William Evans answered questions about the video storage practices, public privacy concern, and policy language that allows officers to review camera footage before writing an incident report.
"Why not get the most accurate picture of what happened? Sometimes an officer in the heat of the events; his memory can get clouded,” Evans said.
Community activists like Segun Idowu asked for a hard date for the program’s rollout, which has already been delayed from the planned July 1 launch.
"This should not have taken this long. Body cameras are not a two year issue,” Idowu said.
City Councilor Tito Jackson said the program is a good thing for everyone involved, especially after the city has spent $38 million on lawsuits against BPD in the past 10 years.
"The power of the police is an extension of the people. In court, it's the people versus so and so. So I would say, these eyes on all of us are a good thing,” he said.
At Thursday’s meeting, the patrolman’s union spoke out against the program saying they need more equipment and officers instead.
"Now, local thugs and terrorists are publishing officer's pictures, names and addresses on social media calling for others to do harm to them...no one is addressing it," a letter from the union to city leaders said.
Evans acknowledged that the program is unpopular among officers, and said officers will be assigned cameras if the 100 people don’t volunteer. The pilot program would run for six months.
Cox Media Group