Boston Police body camera program extended to collect more data - Metro US

Boston Police body camera program extended to collect more data

Flickr/West Midlands Police

The Boston Police Department will continue its body camera pilot program another six months to collect more data, Mayor Marty Walsh announced.

Walsh and Boston Police Commissioner William Evans were able to reach an agreement with the union, Boston Police Patrolmen’s Association, to extend the program six months. The mayor’s office announced the extension in a statement on Monday.

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The program got off to a shaky start when not enough officers signed up for the volunteer effort.

The department then picked most of the 100 officers to take part, which the BPPA said violated the terms of their agreement. A judge in September ruled in favor of the city, allowing the program to begin.

The pilot was initially set at six months and now will continue for another six months, in order to make sure there is enough data available for an “effective study” of the body camera program, according to the mayor’s office.

“This extension is a positive development and I look forward to continuing to build on the success of this pilot program,” Walsh said in a statement. “We are fortunate to have one of the best police forces in the country, and our officers work hand in hand with the community to make all neighborhoods safer.”

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As with the original agreement, 100 patrol officers will wear body cameras while conducting on-duty police activity. The patrol officers currently wearing body cameras will continue to participate in the extended program, though the mayor’s office noted that other officers will be trained and assigned if necessary.

The program will now end Sept. 11, 2017. A full year of data will provide observations in “all seasons and various situations,” according to the mayor’s office.

“I am pleased that the pilot program will be continuing through what tends to be our busiest months of the year,” Evans said in a statement. “Extending through the summer will give us the opportunity to keep the body worn cameras out in the community and will provide additional data to assist with the assessment of the program.”

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