Boston Police: Body Cams Study Favorable To Dept.


BOSTON, MA (WBZ-AM) -- Boston Police Commissioner Bill Evans says a preliminary report on a year-long body cam pilot paints a favorable picture of the department.

He says they won't decide until June whether to make a body cam pilot a permanent program but, as we He tells WBZ NewsRadio1030's Lana Jones that he's happy with a preliminary report on the one-year experiment.

The study found a 41-percent drop in in citizen complaints over a 4-year period that began well before the body cams.  

The Commissioner says complaints of excessive force were down more than 50-percent in the same period and that the patrolman's union has been on board with this pilot. "We've gotten very little negative feedback on their behalf it didn't really impact their performance so again we have twelve additional surveying points which could be from a variety of factors very little and useful information," Evans said.

Evans says a number of factors will be weighed before deciding whether body cams make a difference.

“Look at the quality of police interactions. Did it improve it did it not?  Look at the impact at their productivity.  Some departments, who actually had body cameras have seen their amounts of arrests that officers do go up because it takes away the officer’s discretion,” Evans said.

He also says the officers who wore the cameras had few complaints other than the cameras falling off during struggles or pursuits.

WBZ NewsRadio1030's Lana Jones reports

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