CITY OF WORCESTER

Public Safety Committee Meeting

Monday, August 17, 2020

Esther Howland - Dial: 415-655-0001 (735751404)

Convened: 6:00 P.M.

Adjourned: 8:53 P.M.


Mayor
Joseph M. Petty

 

www.worcesterma.gov

 

Clerk of the City Council
Nikolin Vangjeli

Committee Members

Chairperson Kathleen M Toomey
Vice Chairperson Sarai Rivera
Councilor Donna M Colorio
 

City Hall - 455 Main Street Worcester, Massachusetts


Present Were:Chairperson Councilor Kathleen M. Toomey Councilor Khrystian E. King, who was temporarily appointed to the Standing Committee by the Mayor Councilor Candy Mero-Carlson, who was temporarily appointed to the Standing Committee by the Mayor
 
Also:Councilor Donna M. Colorio Councilor Gary Rosen Councilor George J. Russell Police Chief Steven M. Sargent WPD Sargent Richard Cipro Deputy Police Chief Edward McGinn Deputy Chief Paul Saucier WPD Captain Carl Supernor WPD Lieutenant Sean Murtha City Clerk Nikolin Vangjeli Deputy City Clerk Stephen A.J. Pottle, clerk
 
1.

Approval of the Minutes

1a.

Order - That the City Council Standing Committee on Public Safety hereby approves the minutes of the Public Safety Committee meeting on August 11, 2020.

Attachments

Chairperson Councilor Toomey moved for a roll call vote to adopt the item. Order adopted on a roll call vote of 3 Yeas and 0 Nays

2.

Communications of the City Manager

2a.

Transmitting informational communication relative to a report regarding information on the Body-Worn Camera Pilot Program. # 9.10A CM July 21, 2020

In Committee August 11, 2020 - Held

Attachments

Chairperson Councilor Toomey read the item and provided an overview of the City Managerís communication, as well as the discussions that were had on the Body-Worn Cameras Pilot Program at the August 11, 2020 Public Safety Committee meeting.

Chairperson Councilor Toomey recognized Councilor King, who discussed what plans the Worcester Police Department had in relation to surveying the public for the use of Body-Worn Cameras, the potential need for officer cellphones and tasers and practice points that arose out of the footage of the program with the Police Chief and the WPD Lieutenant.

Chairperson Councilor Toomey brought forth the following Chairmanís Order: Request City Manager work with the Police Chief to consider holding public meetings in each city quadrant relative to potentially initiating a body-worn camera program. Further, request City Manager request Director of Urban Innovation engage with the Worcester Police Department concerning technology that can be used to hold said meetings in a safe manner that considers needs associated with COVID-19.

Chairperson Councilor Toomey recognized Councilor Russell, who discussed the quality of the equipment used during the pilot program, whether the cityís Technical Services Department can be utilized for overseeing portions of a potential Body-Worn Camera Program and the appropriate times to review video with the Police Chief.

Chairperson Councilor Toomey recognized Councilor Rosen, who discussed whether camera system that attaches to the police officerís gun would be appropriate with the WPD Captain.

Chairperson Councilor Toomey brought forth the following Chairmanís Order: Request City Manager provide City Council with an update concerning the various packages and options body-worn camera companies offer to police departments.

Chairperson Councilor Toomey recognized the following speakers:
1. Eliana Stanislawski, Worcester resident, spoke in opposition to the body-worn camera pilot program
2. Jean Del Cegno, Worcester resident, spoke in opposition to the body-worn camera pilot program
3. Julia Ross, Worcester resident, spoke in favor of the body-worn camera pilot program
4. Jenny Pacillo, Worcester resident, spoke in opposition to the body-worn camera pilot program
5. Kathleen Hackett, Worcester resident, spoke in favor of the body-worn camera pilot program
6. Jessica Mackowiak, Worcester resident, spoke in opposition to the body-worn camera pilot program
7. Gretta Hayden, Worcester resident, spoke in opposition to the body-worn camera pilot program
8. John Rodgers, Worcester resident, spoke in favor of the body-worn camera pilot program
9. Ted Kostas, Worcester resident, spoke in favor of the body-worn camera pilot program
10. Judy Diamondstone, Worcester resident, spoke in opposition to the body-worn camera pilot program
11. Mary Jo Hall, Worcester resident, spoke in favor of the body-worn camera pilot program
12. Kaci Panarelli, Shrewsbury resident, spoke in opposition to the body-worn camera pilot program
13. Fred Nathan, Worcester resident, spoke in favor of the body-worn camera pilot program
14. Michael Bunker, Worcester resident, spoke in opposition to the body-worn camera pilot program
15. Carmen Carmona, Worcester resident, spoke in favor of the body-worn camera pilot program
16. Marie Brouillette, Worcester resident, spoke in opposition to the body-worn camera pilot program
17. Jessica Shrempko, Worcester resident, spoke in opposition to the body-worn camera pilot program
18. Molly Bond, Worcester resident, spoke in opposition to the body-worn camera pilot program
19. Nathanial Clark, Worcester resident, spoke in opposition to the body-worn camera pilot program
20. Matt Whitlock, Worcester resident, spoke in opposition to the body-worn camera pilot program
21. Vicki Rosinsky, Worcester resident, spoke in opposition to the body-worn camera pilot program
22. Michelle Puch, Worcester resident, spoke in opposition to the body-worn camera pilot program
23. Kevin Ksen, Worcester resident, spoke in opposition to the body-worn camera pilot program
24. Emma Narcowitz, Worcester resident, spoke in opposition to the body-worn camera pilot program

Chairperson Councilor Toomey recognized Councilor Mero-Carlson, who discussed the budgeting impact that making the body-worn camera program permanent would have, whether the six-month pilot program was an appropriate amount of time to trial the product and potential need for purchasing tasers with the Police Chief.

Chairperson Councilor Toomey brought forth the following Chairmanís Order: Request City Manager provide City Council with a cost benefit analysis report detailing how much the city is currently paying personnel and legal counsel to deal with WPD complaints, lawsuits, legal fees, etc. against potential spending if a permanent body-worn camera program were implemented.

Chairperson Councilor Toomey recognized Councilor King, who brought forth the following Chairmanís Order: Request City Manager provide City Council with an augmented report detailing aspects of the Body-Worn Cameras Pilot Program, including but not limited to how footage has impacted WPD policy development, whether WPD officers had the ability to review videos before, during or after creating written reports, details concerning budgeting for the purchase of tasers and an action plan for public engagement relating to any potential permanent Body-Worn Camera program.

Chairperson Councilor Toomey moved for a roll call vote to bring the Chairmanís Orders forward to City Council. Motions approved on a roll call vote of 3 Yeas and 0 Nays.

Chairperson Councilor Toomey moved for a roll call vote to recommend the item be filed.

Recommend File on a roll call vote of 3 Yeas and 0 Nays.

Chairman's Orders

Request City Manager work with the Police Chief to consider holding public meetings in each city quadrant relative to potentially initiating a body-worn camera program. Further, request City Manager request Director of Urban Innovation engage with the Worcester Police Department concerning technology that can be used to hold said meetings in a safe manner that considers needs associated with COVID-19.

Request City Manager provide City Council with an update concerning the various packages and options body-worn camera companies offer to police departments.

Request City Manager provide City Council with a cost benefit analysis report detailing how much the city is currently paying personnel and legal counsel to deal with WPD complaints, lawsuits, legal fees, etc. against potential spending if a permanent body-worn camera program were implemented.

Request City Manager provide City Council with an augmented report detailing aspects of the Body-Worn Cameras Pilot Program, including but not limited to how footage has impacted WPD policy development, whether WPD officers had the ability to review videos before, during or after creating written reports, details concerning budgeting for the purchase of tasers and an action plan for public engagement relating to any potential permanent Body-Worn Camera program.

2b.

Transmitting informational communication relative to the Worcester Police Department's protocol, regulations and procedures associated with the Body Camera Pilot Program. # 7.10A CM June 4, 2019

In Committee February 4, 2020 - Held

Attachments

Chairperson Councilor Toomey read the item and recognized Councilor King, who discussed whether there were circumstances that camera footage from a body-worn cameras would not be uploaded, the retention period for camera footage and whether there were instances of reasonable or unreasonable failures to begin recordings with the body-worn camera with the Police Chief, WPD Captain and WPD Lieutenant.

Chairperson Councilor Toomey moved for a roll call vote to recommend the item be filed.

Recommend File on a roll call vote of 3 Yeas and 0 Nays.

3.

Miscellaneous Petitions

3a.

Nathan Cummings request the most recent report(s) summarizing performance measures and statistics for the Worcester Police Department (WPD), and those same reports for the preceding five (5) years, be made prominently available on the WPD page of the website of the City of Worcester. # 22b CC August 11, 2020

Attachments

Chairperson Councilor Toomey read the item and recognized the petitioner, who spoke in favor of the item.

Chairperson Councilor Toomey and Councilor Mero-Carlson discussed the feasibility of receiving questions raised by the petitioner in the form of a report and providing the questions to the Worcester Police Department for response with the Police Chief.

Chairperson Councilor Toomey recognized Councilor King, who discussed publishing Worcester Police Department information on the website with the Police Chief.

Recommend Approval to request the City Manager request Police Chief provide City Council with a report of all appropriate information requested by a Worcester resident, Nathan Cummings, relative to performance measures and statistics for the Worcester Police Department, which would also be released in a user-friendly manner on the cityís website, pending the receipt of a detailed list of questions from said resident.

3b.

Gordon Davis request the City Council establish policies for the use of police body cameras. # 7e CC February 26, 2019

Attachments

Chairperson Councilor Toomey read the item and recognized the petitioner, who spoke in favor of the item.

Chairperson Councilor Toomey moved for a roll call vote to recommend the item be held.

Recommend Hold on a roll call vote of 3 Yeas and 0 Nays.