Boston Body Camera Program Getting Mixed Reviews | NECN
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Boston Body Camera Program Getting Mixed Reviews

Commissioner William Evans to randomly assign cameras to officers in September

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    An announcement on the assignment of mandatory body cameras to 100 Boston police officers by the start of September, is getting some mixed reviews. (Published Wednesday, Aug. 17, 2016)

    An announcement by Boston Commissioner William Evans that he'll randomly assign mandatory body cameras to 100 officers by the start of September, is getting some mixed reviews.

    "You worry everyday whether they're going to come back home alive or not," said Kay Robinson of Mission Hill.

    Robinson is thrilled that some Boston police officers will be wearing body cameras starting next month, in a move she believes will help protect both her children and the officers.

    "The police officer won't be accused wrongly and if anything happens they have something to show," Robinson said.

    The 100 officers who will be wearing the cameras were notified starting Wednesday, after none of them volunteered for the department's six month pilot program.

    "We told the people of Boston we'd have a body camera program and we're moving forward with a body camera program and it's out on the street," Boston Mayor Marty Walsh said.

    Larry Ellison, the president of the Massachusetts Association of Minority Law Enforcement Officers, says the officers he represents are concerned with whether this program will be rolled out evenly among officers with varying service records and various races.

    "The issue is will they be the sacrificial lambs when this comes out," Ellison said.

    The department said the external project administrator is ensuring the cameras will be spread through all departments and reflect the diversity of the police force.

    Residents were mixed on whether this is the right way to approach the program.

    "I think that police should have the option to choose if they want to have body cameras or not, rather than being forced to," Chris Caulfield of Jamaica Plain said.

    "I find it a bit concerning, I figure if there's nothing to hide, there should be no issue with wearing a camera," said Claudia Eliaza of Jamaica Plain.

    "I think it's an interesting way that they're going to try and keep track of what's actually happening," said Bailie Henry of Brookline.

    NECN reached out several times to the Boston Police Patrolmen's Association, but its president did not return our requests for comment on whether the union would take any action to try to stop the program now that it's no longer voluntary.


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