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Williamstown police adding body cameras

Nov 07, 2022 12:21 pm

Scott Stafford reports in The Berkshire Eagle that the Williamstown Police Department is the latest in Western Massachusetts to add body cameras. “In communities experiencing strained relations with the police, body cams provide another line of transparency and accountability. And they can provide critical evidence on calls and crimes.” Interim Police Chief Mike Ziemba says. Hugh Daley, chair of the town's Select Board, agrees. "I think body cams can enhance police effectiveness and foster a better relationship with the community," he said. "I believe this is further evidence of Chief Ziemba's — and the whole department's — commitment to increasing transparency and accountability at the WPD." But Jessica Dils, a town resident working for police reform in Williamstown, wonders whether body cams will achieve much. "Studies have shown that it is actually the engaged citizenry with their own cell phone footage that ends up being seen by the public in cases of police abuse and misconduct," Dils said. "The vast majority of footage collected by police-worn body cameras is never seen by those same citizens or anyone outside the departments in which they reside." In nearby Pittsfield, two police officers’ unions have derailed body cameras there, without saying why they oppose the effort. Meanwhile police officers in Great Barrington recently added body cameras. Read the full story in The Berkshire Eagle.

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