Police officers in Trumbull are now wearing body cameras, the culmination of several years of planning, funding requests, training, and implementation.
The program was officially launched over a year ago after the department researched several options for the body worn cameras and eventually purchased twenty cameras and a new computer server for storing the camera recordings in compliance with state of Connecticut standards. Officers received training in the wearing and use of the cameras which will be reviewed with them annually as well.
The body cameras were originally purchased with about $20,000 in grant funding. Additional funding was obtained through the police department’s annual budget for the dedicated computer server, that is also used to store the audio-video files from our on-board vehicle cameras, which have been used in Trumbull’s police cars for many years.
The body cameras provide useful video evidence in criminal cases by supporting the officers’ testimony with an audible and visual record of an incident. They also allow the department to review the recordings for training and professional standards evaluations, and will aid in the investigation of citizen complaints. Officers operate under a department policy that dictates when the camera is to be activated, and specific situations when it should not be used. Trumbull Police selected the camera system, for both body cameras and vehicle cameras, from the WatchGuard video company in Texas.
The department plans to add more camera systems with the purchase of each new vehicle. Each camera system, which includes vehicle camera, body camera, and all the related hardware and software, costs about $5,000. “I am pleased that Trumbull officers are now equipped with body worn cameras during patrol duties,” said Police Chief Michael Lombardo, “The camera will record evidence and interactions with the community providing another level of transparency and depicting the fine work done by the officers.”