For Immediate Release: 5/1/2019 3:59 pm
The Worcester Police Department is launching a pilot program for body-worn cameras today. The program will run from May 2019 to November 2019. Axon, the leading national provider of police body cameras, is the vendor for the pilot program. Twenty officers, including sixteen from the Operations division, two from the Traffic division, and two from the Neighborhood Response Team, will wear the cameras for their regular tour of duty during the six month pilot program. All of the officers involved volunteered to participate in the pilot program.
Axon is providing twenty body cameras to the participating officers, and twenty extra cameras in case of malfunction. The city is not paying Axon for any aspect of the pilot program. The cameras record audio and video, and upload their data to the cloud when they are placed in their docking bay at the end of the officers' shifts. The officers who are participating in the pilot program have been thoroughly trained in the operation of the cameras and the department’s policy about their proper use.
“We hope to use our body cameras to increase transparency, resolve complaints, de-escalate volatile situations, and improve our training. Our officers do amazing work day in and day out, and we have confidence that this will be captured in the footage," said Chief Sargent. "During the pilot, we will assess the effectiveness of the cameras and continue to study the most productive way to use them.”