February 4, 2019–Colonel Kerry A. Gilpin, Superintendent of the Massachusetts State Police, announced today that the Department has begun a body camera pilot program as part of her wide-ranging slate of operational reforms. Devices from several vendors will be evaluated over the next six months by approximately 100 Troopers.
The cameras will provide an additional level of accountability and accuracy for Troopers during their interactions with the public, increase officer safety, and enhance the ability to accurately document the actions of criminal offenders.
“Body cameras offer the potential to bring a new level of officer safety, transparency, and accurate documentation to the tens of thousands of interactions our personnel have with the public every year,” said Colonel Gilpin. “We are evaluating several different body camera platforms before selecting the best solution. My Command Staff and I are working collaboratively with the union that represents Troopers and Sergeants on this important new capability.”
Mark Lynch, President of the State Police Association of Massachusetts (SPAM), said, “SPAM is committed to working in partnership with the Baker-Polito Administration in employing new technologies that may benefit the safety of SPAM’s members and the public that we protect. SPAM supports the administration’s body-worn camera pilot program and looks forward to examining the perceived benefits and potential improvements with the use of these technologies.”
Details of the body camera pilot program announced today:
• Pilot program duration of six months involving approximately 100 participants from the State Police;
• Pilot participants will evaluate different vendor devices over this six-month period with the goal of identifying the best camera solution for the department’s policing mission;
• The Massachusetts State Police and SPAM signed a MOU last week in which SPAM agreed to support the program;
• The pilot program will scale to 100 participants over the next two weeks.
The camera program is the latest among numerous operational and fiscal reforms that Colonel Gilpin and her Command Staff have undertaken over the past 10 months, including: the installation of Automated Vehicle Locator systems in all patrol cruisers, with expansion to other cruisers planned; elimination of the former Troop E with its duties of patrolling the Turnpike and Tunnel System rolled into three separate geographic barracks, increasing oversight and capabilities; quarterly audits of the Department’s top 50 earners to ensure adherence to relevant policies, rules and regulations; increased staff in the Internal Affairs and Staff Inspections Sections for increased accountability; and contracting with a major audit firm to review Departmental payroll functions.