Pittsfield police delay testing body cams due to union concerns
The Pittsfield, Massachusetts, police department had planned to start testing body cameras this month, but it has been delayed because of issues raised by police unions.
The department's goal was to test two different camera brands and choose one before the end of the year. But at a city council meeting Tuesday, Captain Gary Traversa said the testing has been paused because of concerns the police unions have. He didn't say what the issue is or whether it was raised by the patrolmen's union, the police supervisors' union or both.
In an interview with NEPM earlier this month Traversa said both police unions were "very positive" about the cameras.
City Councilor Earl Persip III said he is disappointed the process is delayed.
"When we hear of a negative experience with police, it's always police side versus citizen side and now hopefully we'll have a recorded interaction so we can understand what's going on out there," Persip said.
Mayor Linda Tyer said the testing will not go forward until the issues raised by the unions are resolved.
In March, when a Pittsfield police officer fatally shot 22-year old Miguel Estrella there was no body camera video.