body cameras

John Bender / RIPR

Just two days after its passage in committee the Providence City Council is set to vote on the Community Safety Act, in a special meeting. 

Courtesy of Providence Police Department

The Providence Police Department will be the first in Rhode Island to start using body cameras in a couple of weeks. For the most part, the cameras are getting broad support. But the rollout is sparking debate over when and how the cameras and their footage should be used, as well as questions about the costs of running the program.  

John Bender / RIPR

In Providence, advocates of the so-called Community Safety Act have advanced a revised version of the city ordinance they say aims to improve police and community relations.

John Bender / RIPR

The Rhode Island chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union has penned a letter to the Providence City Council, urging them to veto the purchase of body cameras for city police. While the organization is in favor of the cameras, RI ACLU head Steve Brown said the police department hasn’t offered a clear path for public access to the footage.

Chuck Hinman / RIPR

Providence poet Christopher Johnson is one of 20 candidates for Poet Laureate of Rhode Island. He is also facing charges of assault, resisting arrest and disorderly conduct after an encounter last spring with a Providence police officer. Johnson wrote about that encounter earlier this month for Motif Magazine, in an essay called Walking While Black. He spoke to Rhode Island Public Radio’s Chuck Hinman about his case.

Wikimedia Commons

A group of University of Rhode Island professors are urging the administration to equip campus police with body cameras.

The URI chapter of the American Association of University Professors, says the school should join the national trend. They say about a third of police officers in the U.S. have body cameras. The group also points to the relative affordability of the cameras, which usually run fewer than $500 dollars each.

URI voted to arm campus police last year, the force was armed this past Spring.