New Haven officers test the use of body cameras - WFSB 3 Connecticut

New Haven officers test the use of body cameras

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NEW HAVEN, CT (WFSB) -

One of Connecticut’s largest police departments is considering body cameras for its officers.

New Haven is starting a pilot program next month which will last three months, giving officers time to check out three different cameras.

"I think it’s a good idea for the public's protection and for the officer's protection. This way we get to see the whole story, rather than just clips of it if someone records it from their phone,” said Andrew Super of New Haven.

The police department is looking for 30 volunteers among its sergeants, detectives, and officers to take part in the pilot program.

"It’s going to give officers an opportunity to provide feedback to the administration on which are more comfortable, which are better quality and we'll be able to see the results,” said New Haven Police Officer David Hartman.

Police said the cameras, which are being donated for the three-month test period, could provide valuable evidence for court cases, and will eliminate the “he-said-she-said” allegations in a digital age where cell phone video is everywhere.

"They see a small video clip of something and its goes viral and it hurts, so this is something that will benefit us, benefit the public. There is no one that can lose in this situation,” Hartman added.

Some said they aren’t so sure body cameras are the answer.

"I don't think it’s going to help. What's going to help is being out in the community more where they can be trusted,” said Tom Mitchner of New Haven.

Other said it is an additional tool that should make sure everyone is on their best behavior.

"Cameras aren’t going to lie. It’s a good thing. You want the community to be better, see cops helping us, not hurting us, so it will show the good part too,” said William Atterbury of New Haven.

Once the three months are up, the police administration and the union will likely review the feedback and decide how they will go forward.

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