NEW HAVEN, Conn. (WTNH)–It has been a few years in the making, but on Wednesday, 30 police officers in New Haven were issued their body cameras and began training to use them.
“They’re tools where we learn what we can do better. Whether it’s motor vehicle stops, tactics, the way we approach and deal with people. It’s a really great tool that will finally push us forward in our community policing efforts,” said Chief Anthony Campbell.
Chief Campbell says over the next few months every officer will be equipped with a camera and a call phone to go along with it. He says the cameras main purposes will be to help officers file accurate reports and capture critical moments in high profile situations. They will be used to increase transparency and strengthen relationships between officers and people the community.
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“We will not be trolling the video footage just to try and you know, as we like to say, gotcha for an officer but there will be periodic reviews of the footage,” said Campbell.
In September, two officers were shot while responding to a domestic call on Elm Street. There was another officer involved shooting in August, 2016.
“The officers were cleared in both instances but I think that one of the great things would have been having the body cameras to show not only what the officers did, that they adhered to their training and to the policies of this department but also the restraint that the officers employed in each of those situations,” said Campbell.
In all, 800 cameras were purchased with a $700,000 grant.