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Portsmouth Police To Study Use Of Body Cameras

Photo: West Midlands Police/cc/flickr

The Portsmouth Police Commission is putting together a group to study whether the city police department should start using body cameras or patrol car cameras.

The group will look at the cameras' costs and how other New England communities use them, either for trainings or in court.

Jim Splaine is a Portsmouth police commissioner, and he proposed this review group last month.  He says, getting body cameras might just be a matter of time.

"It may be something we would like to do sooner rather than later for Portsmouth because of the practicality of the technology of today and the value of having transparency for our police."

Police officers, the police chief, the commissioners and six volunteer citizens will make up the review group.

Citizens are encouraged to apply by Friday, Oct. 19th. So far, the commission's received about 10 applications. The commission will select the citizen volunteers at their next meeting on Oct. 23rd.

Commissioner Joe Onosko says he’d like to see people with some expertise in policing or other matters apply.

The group plans on having a number of public forums, and aims to put together recommendations by next spring.

After that report is out, the commissioners will then vote on whether or not to implement body cameras.

Daniela is an editor in NHPR's newsroom. She leads NHPR's Spanish language news initiative, ¿Qué Hay de Nuevo, New Hampshire? and the station's climate change reporting project, By Degrees. You can email her at dallee@nhpr.org.
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