Worcester PD Launches Body Camera Pilot Program

by | May 1, 2019 | Headlines, Crime, News

WORCESTER – The Worcester Police Department [WPD] announced on Wednesday that it would launch a body camera pilot program.

According to the WPD, the program will run from May 2019 to November 2019. Twenty officers, including 16 from the Operations division, two from the Traffic division, and two from the Neighborhood Response Team, will wear the cameras for  during the six-month pilot program.

“We hope to use our body cameras to increase transparency, resolve complaints, de-escalate volatile situations, and improve our training. Our officers do amazing work day in and day out, and we have confidence that this will be captured in the footage,” said Chief Sargent. “During the pilot, we will assess the effectiveness of the cameras and continue to study the most productive way to use them.”

All of the officers involved volunteered to participate in the pilot program.

Axon, the vendor for the pilot program, is providing twenty body cameras to the participating officers, and twenty extra cameras in case of malfunction. The city is not paying Axon for any aspect of the pilot program.

The cameras record audio and video, and upload their data to the cloud when they are placed in their docking bay at the end of the officers’ shifts. The officers who are participating in the pilot program have been thoroughly trained in the operation of the cameras and the department’s policy about their proper use.

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Patrick Sargent is the founder and lead reporter for ThisWeekinWorcester.com. He was born and raised on Grafton Hill and is a graduate of Holy Name high school and Worcester State University. Previous to starting TWIW, he worked as a contributing reporter for the Worcester Sun. Before that, over the course of several years, he had stints with GoLocalWorcester, Worcester Magazine, the Leominster Champion and Fitchburg Pride. He can be contacted at [email protected]