City starts process to bring body cameras to Police Department

Sept. 5, 2018 | G. Michael Dobbs

SPRINGFIELD – If it were up to Mayor Domenic Sarno he would have the city’s patrolmen using body camera “yesterday.”

Sarno, explained to Reminder Publishing, “But there is a process.”

Having the city’s rank and file officers wear and use the recording devices has become a budget priority, Sarno added.

The city announced last week it has developed a three-part plan to implement the cameras. The first part is hiring a consultant to develop the plan in detail, including the selection of the best cameras and storage space for the recordings.

The second part is to buy the cameras and the necessary software and other hardware, while the third would be the actual use of the cameras. A Request for Proposals would be used to select a consultant and the hardware.

Just when all of this would taker place is still a question. Sarno said, “I’d love to see it in a year or two or earlier. I want to make sure everything is done right.”

Chief Administrative and Finance Officer TJ Plante stated, “Implementing the body worn cameras program is a priority for the City.  We have identified various funding strategies depending on the recommendations of the working group. These funds will most likely be a blend of bonds, potential grants and the general fund.”

Police Commissioner John Barbieri added, “The Springfield Police Department continues to move forward with this technology which will enhance police-community relations and assist with building public trust.”

In the near future, the Police Department will form a committee consisting of members of the Supervisor’s Association and IPBO Local 364, along with the necessary city employees to ensure proper training for our officers and smooth implementation.

On July 11, the Springfield City Council unanimously approved the contract between the city and the Springfield Police Officers IBPO Local 364. The contract runs through June 30, 2020. Sarno called the agreement “a landmark contract.”

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