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I-Team: Mass. Police Departments Buying Body Cameras

BOSTON (CBS) - As calls for police body cameras increase around the country, the I-Team has learned some Massachusetts police departments are pushing forward with plans to put cameras on cops.

The Bay State has lagged behind the rest of the country in the use of police cameras. Few if any departments were using body cameras or dash cameras before last year.

But now Wayne Sampson of the Massachusetts Chiefs of Police Association tells WBZ more of his member departments are interested in the video technology.

"Clearly there's a greater willingness to use them," he says adding that using cameras allows a better look, "at what really takes place when an incident occurs."

In a recent survey of 150 Massachusetts Police Departments, Sampson says six say they have put out Request for Proposals for purchasing some body cameras.

Body camera
A body camera on a police officer. (WBZ-TV)

Four departments already have body cameras, including Methuen, whose pilot program goes live May 9th. That's in addition to Worcester who started their pilot program months ago.

A year ago, no departments were using cameras.

The I-Team has also learned that Massachusetts State Police are taking steps to use dashboard cameras. A spokesman confirms they have received a number of proposals for dashboard cameras for cruisers.

No cameras have been purchased yet, but MSP is "considering establishing a pilot program to attach dashboard cameras in a certain number of cruisers to evaluate their value to our policing mission."

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