BOSTON (CBS) — Boston police officers are set to receive body camera training on Monday. Two precincts in South Boston and Dorchester have received the body camera equipment.
Mayor Marty Walsh expects the cameras will be in use later this spring. About 400 officers will have cameras to start.
The police officers union has been opposed to body cameras, saying that they have not proven to be successful and potentially changes the way officers act.
One hundred officers wore cameras during a yearlong pilot program during 2016-2017. A Northeastern University report on the program found that body cameras “generate small but meaningful benefits to police-citizen encounters.”
The report also said officers with cameras received about one fewer complaint per month and less use of force reports.
“Boston doesn’t have the same issues across the board as other cities in America,” said Walsh.
But every little difference helps. “We still need to move forward and if new technology helps the situation, helps us figure out how do we deescalate situations, we are going to do everything we can,” he said.
The Boston Police Patrolmen’s Union believes the body cameras should be on all members of the department, not just patrolmen. It also believes all the cameras should be rolled out at once. It also thinks the money would be spent better elsewhere on Tasers, ballistic vests and more officers.