Town Manager Stephen Crane and Police Chief Joseph O’Connor are pleased to announce that the Concord Police Department will implement an integrated in-car and body worn camera program.
The groundbreaking agreement was signed between Town Manager Crane and the Concord Police Association (Massachusetts Coalition of Police Local 260), they agreed the camera initiative would solidify community trust and increase transparency for those who live, work, visit or travel within Concord.
“The addition of body-worn and cruiser cameras adds a major layer of transparency and openness for the Concord Police Department,” Town Manager Crane said. “I am very proud of our Police Department’s Command Staff and union for continuing to implement best practices to address community concerns. I especially want to thank Concord Police Association President Jeffrey Shelley and his executive board for coming together with the Town to recognize that now is the time to add this vital program for our community.”
Concord is believed to be the seventh police department in Massachusetts to add body-worn cameras, and published news reports indicate that fewer than 20 agencies in the Commonwealth have deployed cruiser cameras.
“The Concord Police Department is committed to providing exceptional service, and this program is another example of our efforts,” Chief O’Connor said. “I have confidence that the cameras will assist in demonstrating the legitimacy of our actions, build additional public trust and confirm the professionalism of our Officers.”
President Barack Obama’s Task Force on 21st Century Policing placed a priority on body camera research and camera programs. In one citation in the final report of the task force indicated that officers wearing body cameras had “87.5 percent fewer incidents of use of force and 59 percent fewer complaints than the officers not wearing the cameras.”
The Concord integrated in-car and body worn camera program will have an initial equipment cost of $197,000. An order has been placed for WatchGuard cameras by Motorola and the company’s modern, cloud-based video/evidence management system. A total of 40 body cameras have been ordered, and in-car cameras will be fitted to every marked and unmarked police vehicle, including Chief O’Connor’s vehicle.
In the memorandum of understanding, the union agreed to forgo impact bargaining for the camera program, though the Town agreed in its sole discretion to consider future employee compensation adjustments upon the conclusion of the camera program training period.