Stratford Police now wearing body cameras

Stratford Police officers will have new equipment on as they go to work on the town’s streets: body cameras.

Stratford Police Officer Erika Ortiz is one of the town’s police officers now wearing body cameras while on patrol. — Melvin Mason photo

SPD officers began wearing the cameras last week. The department tested different cameras randomly since last year, said Capt. Frank Eannotti.

“We’ve decided to deploy them throughout our patrol force, so we’ll have cameras on the road every shift on all of our patrol officers,” Eannotti said.
Sixty-five of the 70 body cameras are in current use with the remaining five available as spares. The cameras are turned on when officers respond to a scene, including to record interviews with witnesses or during traffic stops. The cameras will not be active all day.

“We’re looking forward to enhancing our patrol operations,” Eannotti said Thursday, saying the cameras will help in the collection of evidence and information and record interactions with the public. The department can also review their interactions as well, Eannotti said.

Civil rights groups nationwide have called for more police departments to place body cameras on officers in light of allegations of police brutality and overaction by officers. Eannotti said the cameras will help with transparency on police interactions with the public.

“I think if anything the cameras are going to help in a situation because it’s going to clear everything up,” Eannotti said. “Everything is going to be recorded. People record us. We’ve had cameras in cars for years. So many people have cameras mounted on their houses. It’s just a sign of the times. We’re just looking at it as a tool, as a positive thing that we can put out there and that’s just going to assist the officers in doing their jobs.”

Stratford Police received a grant from the state Office of Policy Management to pay for the cameras and servers. The department spent $84,000 for the cameras and associated equipment. The town’s cost will be $2,400.

Eannotti said there is no set evaluation time for the camera program. “We’re invested into it and we’re running full speed with it with the whole patrol unit division,” he said.

Stay with The Stratford Star for more information on this story.

About author
Editor for the Stratford Star. Former reporter for the Darien Times.

By participating in the comments section of this site you are agreeing to our Privacy Policy and User Agreement

© HAN Network. All rights reserved. Stratford Star, 1000 Bridgeport Avenue, Shelton, CT 06484

Designed by WPSHOWER

Powered by WordPress