107 body cameras are now rolling in Boston, on 100 Boston police officers who were randomly assigned the devices. This came after a judge overruled union objections and said the trial program could go forward. The other 7 cameras are on members of the Boston Police command staff, like Chief William Gross.
The cameras are expected to be turned on whenever the officers interact with civilians, and shouldn't be turned off until the situation is resolved. Department policy requires officers to have permission to take video when they're in a private residence, unless they have a warrant.
Previously, the union agreed to a voluntary program, but then not one officer actually volunteered. When the department said it would go forward with 100 randomly selected officers, the union tried to stop the pilot in court, but Friday the judge gave the department the go-ahead.
Police commissioner Evans joined Jim to talk about his battle with the union and what lies ahead. Evans said that the cameras, which rolled out yesterday, have already recorded some interaction. He said that while new technology and change don't come easy to any organization, the community clearly wanted these cameras.
Evans addressed the battle with the union over the cameras. He said that deep down, it wasn't personal, it was business. He said that change is a big problem for many, but the longer they fought the implementation, it sent a message that they were hiding something. This is a pilot, said Evans. It is all about the cost benefit, and he said he thinks the cops are going to see the benefit.
He also addressed the tensions between police and communities throughout the country. he said that you're naive to not pay attention to what's going on in the rest of the country. Evans said that the Boston Police department is doing a super job.
They also discussed Sean Ellis' case, which we addressed on Greater Boston on Monday night. Evans said that the corruption charges bother him. "We have to somehow get to the truth," he said. He said that Ellis' lawyer has always battled the police.