All Massachusetts Staties Now Have Body Cameras After Scandal
You may have had heard the rumors. Well, the rumors are true. Massachusetts State Police announced on Thursday that all 2,200 personnel have now been assigned body cameras.
According to Massachusetts State Police, the implementation of the Police Department’s body-camera program is complete. As of December 16, all sworn members across every division of the Massachusetts State Police have been assigned body cameras and are trained to use them.
The reform was ordered back in 2018 after the agency was hit by an overtime scandal. Apparently, some troopers allegedly were taking thousands of hours in overtime pay for time periods they did not actually work.
Now, basically, body-worn cameras have been assigned to every Trooper, and departmental policy governs the use and criteria for activation of the body cameras. Additionally, the Department’s implementation of its cruiser camera program is nearing completion. As of yesterday, cameras have been installed in approximately 800 Department cruisers, with 200 still awaiting cameras.
In a media statement, Colonel Christopher Mason, Superintendent of the Massachusetts State Police, had this to say:
Our camera program assists in accurate documentation of Troopers’ interactions with suspects, victims, and members of the public. This is essential to capturing evidence for criminal cases as well as memorializing the nature of interactions between Troopers and the public. Body camera video also provides a valuable training tool for recruits and existing officers.
The body cameras are just one part of a whole slew of initiatives the Massachusetts State Police have undertaken with the Baker-Polito administration including enhanced use of technology in recruiting, construction of the Department’s Homeland Security Operations Center, and installation of GPS technology in police vehicles.
For more information, visit the Mass State Police website here.