New Haven police chief says body cameras will bring transparency - WFSB 3 Connecticut

New Haven police chief says body cameras will bring transparency, accountability

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New Haven's new police chief is looking to bring transparency and accountability to the department. (WFSB) New Haven's new police chief is looking to bring transparency and accountability to the department. (WFSB)
NEW HAVEN, CT (WFSB) -

New Haven's new police chief is looking to bring transparency and accountability to the department and said body cameras will bring just that.

Police Chief Anthony Campbell will make his pitch to the Board of Alders on Tuesday night.

"It’s been proven that when officers have body cameras, it really does make it a level playing field both for officers and members of the public,” Campbell said.

Other neighboring departments already have cameras, and New Haven has been trying to implement them for at least two years.

The department took part in a pilot program, trying out cameras.

Now they're going to purchase their own, and they're in line to get reimbursed by the state, but they need to act fast.

To get reimbursed for the cameras, the alders first need to sign off on the plan. The mayor can then submit an application to the state’s Office of Policy and Management.

Time is of the essence. If the city gets the application into the state before the end of June, they'll be reimbursed up to $1.5 million. But if the city waits until after that date, the percentage drops to 50 percent.

According to the city, the cost is for roughly 450 cameras along with technology to store the data and footage.

"God forbid something bad happens, they always have the camera to say, this is what happened, it wasn't like that, so I think it will be more helpful for everybody,” said Donovan Weatherspoon, who worked in New Haven.

The Greater New Haven NAACP calls the cameras a tool that can be a win-win, while improving community trust, saying locally they've been supporting the push for cameras since 2015.

The meeting on Tuesday will be held at 6 p.m.

The hope is to roll out the body cameras this summer.

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