When UConn students are set to return to school later this month, they will see something new on campus.
The campus police department will now be wearing body cameras. It will be in compliance with a new law for state police.
UConn police said they are welcoming the use of body cameras. They believe it offers a third, unbiased view of their encounters with the public.
"It's like a third eye. It's great for accountability and transparency. It not only protects the officer. It protects the citizen," explained UConn Police Lieutenant Gary Andruskiewicz.
"When I stop a car and I turn on my lights, that activates the in-car camera. At that point, I can get out of the vehicle. I turn on my body worn camera, approach the vehicle, address the operator and the motor vehicle violation. When the incident is over, I'll turn off my camera and the car camera as well," explained Officer Cara Momnie.
Even if the officer forgets to press the audio button, the camera still passively picks up the video without sound. The data is then stored on servers for ninety days and video of the arrests will be saved for four years.
"It kind of leaves no room for error in terms of like bending the truck, and I think it will definitely help people," said UConn graduate student Erin Donohue.
Other students echoed the same sentiment.
"It make me feel safer, and it's a good cause. It's a nice step in the right direction. I see nothing but the best come out of that," explained UConn freshman Tevin Cheatham.
One issue with the body cameras is the cost.
They were $200,000 for the technology and the data servers that hold all the video and the maintenance of the equipment.
This will keep them continually reliant on grant money to keep the program going in the future.
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