Twenty-five police officers will begin wearing bodycams, mayor Andre Sayegh announced on Tuesday morning.
Sayegh had promised to equip police officers with cameras two years ago after the death of Jameek Lowery.
“This was a long time coming,” said Sayegh during a press conference at City Hall. He said the 25 police officers will wear the cameras as part of a 90-day trial. He expects to increase the number of officers with bodycams to 150 if the trial is successful. “People want more transparency, people want more accountability; and today, we’re giving them more transparency and more accountability.”
Paterson has 376 police officers. It is expected to have 415 by the summer.
Members of the City Council approved a five-year contract worth $581,829 for 150 bodycams last January. At the time, former police chief Troy Oswald outlined a plan that would have 150 officers wearing bodycams by March of last year. Sayegh ousted him before he could implement his plan.
“This is building trust and legitimacy with the community. And this is a good thing,” said public safety director Jerry Speziale.
Speziale said the bodycams protect both police officers and members of the public.
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