WARWICK, R.I. (WPRI) — More than a dozen Warwick police officers will be patrolling the streets wearing body cameras starting Tuesday.
Sixteen body cameras will be worn by officers on all three shifts. It’s part of a pilot program that is expected to transition to the statewide program by the end of the fall.
Anytime an officer responds to a call or initiates a law enforcement activity, like a traffic stop, they have to turn on the camera.
Warwick Police Chief Col. Bradford Connor says he knows this is a new habit and will take some time to get used to, but he believes it will be worth it.
“We’ve always been transparent, but I think this is the next step. I think if we can build additional trust with our community, I think that’s a great thing,” he explained.
The officers wearing the cameras volunteered to strap them on after the department volunteered to participate in the statewide program.
The program was enacted by elected officials last July and funded in part with $1.5 million in federal grant money this past December.
Its goal is to outfit 700 officers in 12 Rhode Island communities with body cameras. The officers in Warwick who will currently be wearing them have already been trained on them and more training will come when the program expands in the next few months.