Connecticut is one of 7 states that now mandates overall body cameras
for police departments — with the deadline for implementing just in excess of a yr
“Connecticut had form of typically encouraged police
departments, kind of the carrot–here is the funding to get cameras,”
points out State Rep. Steve Stafstrom. “Just after the murder of George Floyd and
with the call for police accountability previous summer time, we do now mandate that law enforcement
departments have overall body cameras as of July 1, 2022.”
Stafstrom is the House Chair of the Judiciary Committee and a single of
the two principal authors of past year’s law enforcement accountability legislation.
He’s been a large proponent of rising condition resources to increase cameras in
policing and allowing for that cash to deal with video clip storage along with the cameras.
“The body cameras on their own are not really high priced. The value
truly is on the storage,” Stafstrom says.
He tells News 12 the state 1st began selling physique cameras in
2015, appropriating $12 million to reimburse point out law enforcement and municipal
departments that introduced them on.
It coincided with a federal grant system from the Obama
administration rolled out soon after the lethal police taking pictures of Michael Brown in
Stamford law enforcement were being amongst individuals awarded federal cash from that
“We did a pilot program,” states Lt. Tom Scanlon, who was
in demand of looking into the grant for the Stamford Police Section.
“We to begin with picked a few diverse corporations. Then as a consequence of
our review, we ended up buying the Axon company.”
With tests and opinions, it took about a few decades for the
department’s comprehensive plan to be up and operating in the spring of 2018.
Patrol, K-9, site visitors, all the officers that are on the front strains
in uniform working with the general public on a day-to-day foundation are at the moment putting on
Stamford is considerably from the only department in our place previously with
entire body cameras. Lots of nearby departments have gotten condition grants more than the several years.
Stafstrom states the checklist incorporates Bridgeport, Darien, Easton,
Fairfield, Milford, Monroe, Newtown, Norwalk, Orange, Redding, Stratford,
Wilton, and Woodbridge.
Departments that you should not have cameras nonetheless include things like Derby, which was
in the spotlight in late April after an officer-associated taking pictures.
In close by Shelton, a demo system is underway.
“Our aim and why we started off this so early is that we are
outfitted and ready to go right before the July 1, 2022 deadline,” describes Lt.
Robert Kozlowsky of the Shelton Police Section.
Connecticut’s law mandates video be held for a 12 months, and in any
officer-included incident, the footage will have to be unveiled publicly in 4
Stafstrom claims legislation handed this session penalizes officers
who deliberately convert off their cameras when interacting with the general public.
“The actuality the overall body digicam is off could essentially be used as an
adverse inference in a court proceeding in opposition to possibly a municipal police
department in a civil lawsuit or from a police officer in a criminal use of
Coming up following Wednesday at 10 p.m., it truly is element two of our report
on entire body cameras.
We are going to glimpse at unique circumstances in which footage has each held
law enforcement accountable and secured them.
Departments will also share their first impressions of the
technological know-how and how they experience now.