Police and city reach agreement on body cameras | New


SALEM – The city has taken one step closer to police wearing body cameras, officials said Tuesday afternoon.

The city, the police department and the Salem Police Patrol Association have reached an agreement regarding the installation of cameras.

With an agreement in place, officials are now moving forward with the process of drafting a usage policy, acquiring cameras and storage equipment, and training officers, with a view to implementing their use by the beginning of next year.

In a joint statement by the mayor, police chief, union and the city’s racial equity task force, the cameras were described as a way to improve transparency, promote the integrity of officers , protect officers from unfounded complaints and provide evidence for investigations.

This usage policy should be posted on the ministry’s website for review before the cameras are put into service.

The city budget provided for $ 90,000 for initial costs and an additional $ 65,000 per year for each of the next four fiscal years, for a total of $ 350,000. The city is now in the process of obtaining the cameras, computer equipment and programs to store and access the images. The city is also seeking state grant funds to offset the cost of these future phases.

Dominic Pangallo, chief of staff to Mayor Kim Driscoll, said the patrollers union had agreed to six hours of training.

The cameras are among the recommendations made by the Race Equity Task Force in a report released earlier this year.

“We are committed to serving our public in a transparent and professional manner,” the mayor said in a statement. “Body-worn cameras are a key tool in achieving these important goals consistently and fairly. They protect officers from false accusations of misconduct and they protect the public by ensuring accountability for police actions. “

“The implementation of body worn cameras is very important to me as the head of the Salem Police Department, as a career policeman, as an advocate for reasonable and fair policing and as a resident of Salem, ”said Salem Police Chief Lucas. Miller. in the same joint declaration. Miller acknowledged the cost but also touted the benefits, including helping with police investigations.

The union issued a statement of support for the cameras, saying they will serve as an “additional level of protection for all parties involved.”

As always, we will continue to support initiatives that uplift our beloved community and protect our neighbors, friends and families, the union statement said.

Racial Equity Task Force Public Safety Subcommittee Chairman Thomas Macdonald also praised the cameras, one of the main recommendations of the task force report and something he said. said “are certainly a useful tool in today’s policing environment.”

Court reporter Julie Manganis can be reached at 978-338-2521, by email at [email protected] or on Twitter at @SNJulieManganis

Court reporter Julie Manganis can be reached at 978-338-2521, by email at [email protected] or on Twitter at @SNJulieManganis

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