Justice Department Provides $ 1.5 Million for Police Corps Cameras to RI


By Tom Mooney
The Journal of Providence

PROVIDENCE – The U.S. Department of Justice’s week provided Rhode Island with a $ 1.5 million boost toward its goal of equipping all police officers with body cameras by the end of next year.

The grant will be used to equip more than 700 frontline patrol officers in 11 police departments: Central Falls, Cranston, Jamestown, Narragansett, North Kingstown, Pawtucket, South Kingstown, Warwick, West Warwick, Woonsocket and State Police from Rhode Island.

In June, state legislators and law enforcement officials approved a plan to equip all 1,700 Rhode Island uniformed police officers with body-worn cameras within 12-18. month.

At that time, only two police departments, Providence and Newport, required the use of body cameras, according to the Rhode Island Police Chiefs Association.

Announcing the grant, Attorney General Peter F. Neronha said in a statement, “The pursuit of justice is a quest for the truth, and body cameras worn by police can be a powerful tool in that effort.”

In addition to helping police gather critical evidence, Neronha said body-worn cameras “promote transparency, further helping to build trust between law enforcement and members of the public.”

He thanked the Rhode Island Congressional delegation for helping secure the $ 1,526,000 grant.

In August, Neronha and Col. James Manni, chief of the Rhode Island State Police and Public Safety Department, announced that they would seek public comment before drafting a uniform policy on the use of body camera.

Important policy issues to be addressed include: when should cameras be turned on and off, how the public should be informed about recordings, and what privacy protections should exist.

After the initial collection of public comments, Neronha and Manni will draft the rules of the police and hold public hearings.

Narragansett Police Chief Sean Corrigan, the new president of the State Association of Chiefs of Police, said the combination of “the high professional standards of our officers and the openness this technology allows will not do. that to reinforce the excellent relations which we maintain with the community “.

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