LYNN, Mass. — Every Lynn Police officer will soon be wearing a body camera, and those cameras will always be recording even before they turn on.
“When you finally turn it on, the camera still goes back to 30 seconds prior, you don’t have any audio at that point, however, it is recording,” said Lt. Michael Kmiec with the Lynn Police Department.
The bodycam footage from the officer-involved shooting in Minnesota is tough to watch, but Lt. Kmiec said it gives context to the officer’s intentions.
“Now when you actually see it, and you see it was obviously a tragic mistake, however, you can believe the officers at that point because you’re seeing it live on their camera,” Lt. Kmiec said.
He said that shooting is another example as to why he’s looking forward to his officers wearing body cameras. Every patrol officer in Lynn will have one of the new body cameras within the next few weeks, starting Tuesday.
“We’re very happy to have them, we know the officers are excited to have them, I think it’s going to show a lot of the great work our officers do on a day-to-day basis,” Lt. Kmiec said. “We think the long-term benefits as far as court costs and maybe not having to go to trial and things of that nature will help us in the long run.”
Lt. Kmiec said the body cameras will protect their officers as much as they can protect civilians. He said whenever an officer pulls out their gun or taser, the body cam will automatically turn on along with all the other cameras on nearby officers.
“Those are extra purchases the city made in order to make sure our officers, you know, when they’re in those high tense situations, if you forget to initially turn it on, once those two things come out they come on,” Lt. Kmiec said. “And those will also turn on all cameras around you within a 30-foot radius.”
Lt. Kmiec said the City of Lynn spent more than one million dollars for this five-year plan to get these body cameras up and running.