Great Barrington police now wearing body cams
Heather Bellow is reporting for The Berkshire Eagle that all Great Barrington police will be wearing body cameras by September 30, with each officer assigned their own. The department is the first in Berkshire County to order the use of body cams, and with the full support of the police union. In the days ahead, officers will get used to the new technology, and follow rules to protect the privacy of people who interact with police. Police Chief Paul Storti said, “I think a lot of good will come from it. It’s going to help with our cases. When we go to court we're going to have more evidence. Right now, we write reports based on observations out in the field.” Storti said it will also help the department with officer training and in responding to citizen complaints against officers. Other area towns are also securing the funds to pay for the cameras. For Great Barrington and its 22 officers, the price tag was just under $59,000 for the cameras and five years of data storage. Sheffield and Stockbridge are next — those departments have the equipment on order. Pittsfield police do not yet have body cameras and are exploring policies governing their use. A number of people in the city called for cameras after a city man was shot by police this year in what was later deemed to be a justified use of force, following an investigation. All state police in Massachusetts have been equipped with cameras since last year. Read more in The Berkshire Eagle.