Body Cameras in Use Now at Maximum Security Prison in Shirley
The Massachusetts Department of Corrections has launched a body-worn camera pilot program at the maximum security Souza-Baranowski Correctional Center in Shirley.
The Executive Office of Public Safety and Security stated that "The Massachusetts Department of Corrections Body-Worn Cameras (BWC) pilot program has launched and marks the first-time use of officer-worn body cameras within the department."
The pilot program includes the "reception and diagnostic center for all newly incarcerated males."
A DOC statement said the department will "assess three different BWC products to evaluate the operational and technical needs as well as BWC-related policies for the department."
"As part of our ongoing commitment to strengthening operational efficiency and enhancing transparency, the pilot program provides an important opportunity to evaluate this technology's effective implementation within the Department," Public Safety and Security Secretary Terrance Reidy said.
Approximately 50 officers are wearing the devices at Souza-Baranowski as they perform their regular duties. Training on the BWC technology and policy began in October.
The Bristol County House of Corrections in Dartmouth currently uses 10 body-worn cameras.
"No correctional officers inside the jail have them," said Jonathan Darling, Public Information Officer for the Bristol County Sheriff's Office.
Darling said "outside officers" wear cameras and K9 officers are equipped with them as well "because they could come across a critical incident in the community."
Darling said "inside correctional officers will start wearing them (cameras) in the next few months, depending also on what the new administration wants as well."
Darling said the Sheriff's Office has "worked with the officers union on (the cameras) and have developed the policies."
The cameras were purchased using grants.