William Taylor, police superintendent of Lowell, Ma., is negotiating a 30-day trial of police body cameras, which would place a small camera on an officer's jacket or near their head. Lowell would be the largest city in Massachusetts to approve the body camera pilot measure, Taylor tells the Boston Globe. The trial is sponsored by Arizona-based TASER International, which would provide the cameras at no cost to the city. Taylor said the company reached out to Lowell because it has a history of using progressive police strategies.
The trial could act as a case study for the whole state, he said. “We're trying to experiment and develop information about the pros and cons of the camera and how they could be used for the Commonwealth,” Taylor said. “The most important consideration I have is that [cameras] strengthen trust in the community and act as betterment and not a barrier. We don't want to diminish the trust the police has in the community.” National studies show evidence that body cameras have decreased both complaints against police and use-of-force incidents, Taylor said. “Black Lives Matter” activists, who have traveled across the country protesting alleged police brutality, released a list of policy solutions this week that called on every police department to purchase and implement body cameras.