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All Westport Police officers now equipped with body and dash cameras



Westport Police officers are now all equipped with body cameras and dash cameras.

According to Sgt Robert Rebello, since 2015, the Westport Police Department has been utilizing In-Car Video Systems (Dash Cameras) to record and document police interactions while their officers conduct motor vehicle stops, respond to calls for service and interact with members of the community while in the vicinity of their cruisers. Since the inception of the program, the Town has had the foresight to financially support this endeavor moving forward by purchasing dash cameras for each new cruiser in the fleet.

The Westport Police Department was one of the first departments in the area to begin utilizing dash cameras. The dash camera system is comprised of three cameras—two cameras capture video out the front windshield of the cruiser (standard view and panoramic view) and a third camera captures the prisoner compartment. Along with capturing video, the system also records two sources of audio. The first is from a mobile microphone attached to the officer’s uniform and the second is a cabin microphone.

Effective February 1, 2023, all uniformed Westport Police Officers are now equipped with Body Worn Cameras in addition to the dash cameras. With the addition of the body worn cameras, both officers and citizens will be protected against false accusations, claims of misconduct or abuse. The body worn cameras can also help prevent and de-escalate confrontational situations between officers and civilians. The body worn cameras allow the Department to take another step towards transparency and truth in policing.

The body worn cameras will be worn on the outermost garment of officers while they are on duty. When an officer is responding to a call for service, the body worn camera will be activated, and a red light will appear on the face of the camera, indicating recording is taking place. If the officer is in his/her cruiser and activates the emergency lights, the body worn camera is automatically activated. The body worn camera will now allow officers to document all interactions with the public without having to be with their cruisers.

Funding for the body worn cameras was obtained through a grant from the Body Worn Cameras (BWC) Grant Opportunity offered by the Executive Office of Public Safety and Security’s Office of Grants and Research (OGR). The grant award was nearly $50,000 dollars. Westport residents should be proud of the fact that the entire Department has embraced the program and is committed to its success.

In mid-June of 2022, the first group of Fall River Police officers assigned to the Special Operations Division hit the streets wearing Body Worn Cameras for the first time.

At the time, Captain Barden Castro stated that 7 officers and 1 sergeant were enrolled in the pilot program with an eventual goal of a department wide roll-out.

On October 14, 2021, body-worn cameras were issued to Somerset patrol officers, front-line supervisors and detectives for use in the field.

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