Massachusetts State Police to Begin Body Camera Pilot Program

The program will consist of devices tested by 100 state troopers

Massachusetts State Police announced Monday that they have begun a 6-month body camera pilot program.

The program consists of devices from several vendors which will be tested by 100 state troopers. The purpose of the cameras is to provide accountability and accuracy for troopers during public interactions and increase trooper safety.

"Body cameras offer the potential to bring a new level of officer safety, transparency, and accurate documentation to the tens of thousands of interactions our personnel have with the public every year," said Col. Kerry A. Gilpin, superintendent of the Massachusetts State Police.

Mark Lynch, president of the State Police Association of Massachusetts, said his members were looking forward to working with state officials to "employ new technologies."

"(The union) supports the administration’s body-worn camera pilot program and looks forward to examining the perceived benefits and potential improvements with the use of these technologies," Lynch said.

The program is among the latest operational and fiscal reforms Gilpin and state police command staff have undertaken in the past 10 months.

Following a scandal where eight state troopers at the now-defunct Troop E were arrested and charged with embezzlement as part of an ongoing overtime abuse scandal, the department has also installed automated vehicle locator systems in all patrol cruisers, conducts quarterly audits of the department's top 50 earners and contracts with a major audit firm to review payroll functions.

The city of Boston expanded its body camera program last summer following the release of a report that found the pilot program generated "meaningful benefits" between encounters of officers and residents.

Former Boston Police Commissioner William Evans said the study showed there was a positive impact to using the cameras.

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