Kensington department proposes cameras for police officers, cruisers
KENSINGTON — The Kensington Police Department is proposing to outfit officers and cruisers with cameras in an effort to better document encounters between police and the public.
Voters on Tuesday will be asked to approve a proposed warrant article seeking $29,152 to purchase seven Watch Guard VISTA body-worn cameras and three Watch Guard 4RE in-car camera systems.
The proposal also includes money to upgrade the police department's server and related infrastructure needed for the implementation of the camera systems, which will allow for the safe and proper management of the videos.
Police Chief Scott Sanders said the cameras will be a valuable tool to help document evidence and prevent and resolve complaints brought by the public.
The cameras also will assist with officer training and enhance officer performance, accountability and transparency, he said.
The proposal comes after several high-profile cases across the country involving confrontations between police and the public, including deadly police shootings and physical altercations.
“I felt it was important to have the opportunity to tell our side of the story and have encounters with the public documented at a time when an enormous amount of scrutiny is directed toward law enforcement in this country,” Sanders said.
The proposal has the unanimous support of selectmen.
“Speaking for myself, I feel it's a good idea considering what's been going on in the country. We've gotten to a point in time where we need to protect the town, the police department and the citizens,” Selectman Robert Wadleigh said.
Sanders said he's proud of the work done by his officers. “That being said, they should also be able to trust that by being professional and doing the right thing they won't have their reputation or the department's ruined by a frivolous complaint,” he said.
Voting on the town and school warrants will take place Tuesday from 8 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. at Kensington Elementary School.