Boston Police Union Battles Commissioner Over Body Cams

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Dan Chaison Reporter
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Boston’s largest police union is still feuding with the city police commissioner over a body camera program that previously failed.

Police Commissioner William Evans violated a collective bargaining agreement when he tried to assign officers to wear the gear, Union President Patrick Rose argued in court Tuesday.

The original plan was to equip 100 volunteers with body cameras over a six-month period, but there wasn’t a single volunteer when the pilot program was set to launch Sept. 2. A few officers were subsequently chosen to wear the cameras by a consultant Evans hired. But the Boston Police Patrolman’s Association (BPPA) pushed back, saying officers can’t be forced to participate in what’s supposed to be a volunteer program.

Lawyers on both sides of the case exchanged words in court.

“We believe the union is here with unclean hands,” city lawyer Katy Hodge said,

“Talk about unclean hands,” union attorney Susan Horwitz fired back, regarding Evans ordering officers into the program.

Rose says he’s urging union members not to volunteer for the program until after the city irons out an agreement, but he does support the use of body cameras once the dispute is settled.

“We know we’re going to have cameras on … all I ever looked for was an agreement that took care of the things we wanted to take care of,” said Rose.

Negotiations over the program have been going on for months between the city and the union.

BPPA did not immediately return The Daily Caller News Foundation’s request for comment.

Nationwide demands for police body cameras have skyrocketed in the wake of recent officer-involved shootings. Advocates argue that filming police interactions with the public helps increase accountability and transparency, especially in communities where trust in law enforcement is low.

Critics contend that body cameras violate victim privacy and can make officers more inclined to issue citations for offenses they would normally let go.

Evans said he would not retract his mandate to officers chosen for the program.

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