Lawmakers pass bill requiring state troopers to wear body cams

HAMDEN, Conn. (WTNH) — Body cameras are quickly becoming part of the uniform for police officers across the country and the same is happening here in Connecticut.

On Monday state lawmakers passed a groundbreaking police accountability bill, voting to spend some $15 million on body cameras for state troopers to wear.

The Hamden Police Department has been using the body cams for a year and a half. Chief Thomas Wydra tells News 8 that it took some getting used to for the officers but has since become second nature.

“Let’s face it, we know that behavior is improved by all parties that are present during an encounter…whether it be the police officer or people,” said Chief Wydra.

David Webb is the director for the Center of Advanced Policing at the University of New Haven. He says in some instances the body cams can have limitations, such as only being two dimensional and not showing any depth. He adds footage would only serve as one part of an investigation if a problem arises. However, he emphasizes the benefits even if some of the state troopers in Connecticut are apprehensive.

“I think officers will work past that,” said Webb. “They wouldn’t be without their dash cams now in their cars and when they originally had them there was a lot of reluctance to having a camera rolling all the time.”

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