Support the news

Lowell Police Considering Body Camera Pilot Program

In this Nov. 5, 2014 file photo, a Minnesota police officer wears a body camera.  Police in Lowell are considering a 30-day pilot of the technology. (Jim Mone/AP/File)MoreCloseclosemore
In this Nov. 5, 2014 file photo, a Minnesota police officer wears a body camera. Police in Lowell are considering a 30-day pilot of the technology. (Jim Mone/AP/File)

The Lowell Police Department is considering a pilot program to test the use of body cameras on officers.

Lowell Police Superintendent William Taylor told WBUR he supports a 30-day test run of the technology and that the city is currently negotiating with the local patrolmen's union on the terms of the pilot.

"It would only work if it serves to bolster an already existing trusting relationship between the police and the community," he said. "So I wouldn't want it to act as an impediment or a barrier to that trusting relationship, and I think that's the concern depending on how they deploy the policy and when they use it."

The trial period would include six cameras placed on officers who volunteer for the program. The cameras would be provided for free by the camera maker, TASER, which Taylor says approached his department about the trial.

"I think they chose the Lowell Police Department because we have a very proactive, community-policing program in the city, and I think we have a very good reputation both in terms of community policing and incorporating new technologies into our public safety program," Taylor said.

The cameras are each valued at about $300.

Other cities, including Boston, have also been discussing the use of body cameras in the wake of several fatal officer-involved shootings around the country.

Boston Police Commissioner William Evans told Radio Boston he has concerns about the effectiveness of body cameras. He says his focus remains on improving community policing initiatives, which he believes go further to fix some of the problems body camera advocates say the technology could help resolve.

Related:

+Join the discussion
TwitterfacebookEmail

Support the news