Connecticut’s largest city has begun a pilot program to test body cameras for its police officers.
Bridgeport joins Rhode Island cities that have started outfitting police officers with body cameras. In Providence, patrol officers began wearing the cameras in 2017 after a pilot program. Some Newport police officers have also been equipped with body cameras.
Bridgeport Mayor Joe Ganim said it’s a major step in accountability and transparency for Bridgeport police. He hopes it will inspire more trust and confidence from the community.
“I think you’re seeing a growing number of communities understand the value of body cams and dash cams in order to capture, and there’s cost associated with this certainly, but able to capture in real time what happened and what didn’t happen.”
Ganim added, “certainly in everything that happens on the street, which is usually not seen the way it will be now with both body cams and dash cams.”
Ganim said the initiative for the body cameras is not in response to the death of 15-year-old Jayson Negron, who was killed during a traffic stop in Bridgeport last May.
The chief state’s attorney office for Connecticut last month cleared the officer who fatally shot the unarmed teen.