Town Council approves contract for police body cameras

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Coin show Sunday November 20th at 9:00 AM 52 Bulfinch street

By Adam Bass-abass@northstarreporter.com

The North Attleborough Town Council has approved a five-year contract to purchase body cameras to be worn by members of the police department.

The contract, which was approved by the council 8-0 on the evening of Nov. 7, consists of hardware and software to be used by officers who completed special training.

Town Manager Michael Borg said the contract between North Attleborough and the Arizona-based manufacturing company Axon Enterprise Inc. costs $352,440. According to Borg,  funds from the town’s Capital Improvement budget, grants from the state, and Free Cash certified in Fiscal Year 2022 were used to pay for the cost.

“This is a decision that the town has contemplated for a couple of years now,” Borg said. “Kudos to our police team for all their hard work and our bargaining units for securing grants from the Commonwealth.”

According to the contract, the cameras, software, and other equipment are covered by a warranty in case the items are damaged.

Police Chief Richard McQuade said the decision to purchase body cameras for officers had been planned since the beginning of 2022.  After receiving the proper training, officers will have the cameras equipped on them during situations such as a motor vehicle stop.

The camera is classified as the Axon Body 3, which includes video playback, audio, and live alerts when worn. When a vehicle does come to a halt or a weapon is withdrawn from the officer’s holster, the camera automatically turns on and starts recording footage thanks to an signal emitted by the Axon Signal Sidearm device.

“The advantages of having body cameras is that it builds public trust with our officers and more importantly—to ensure our officers uphold the highest standards and are accountable for their actions,” McQuade said. “We are going to make sure that those who wear the cameras undergo the proper training and education.”

In a previous meeting, Police Capt. Jason Roy told the council that data from the footage is sent to a website, titled evidence.com.  Both McQuade and Roy are the only individuals who will have access to this footage.

“No one can delete anything,” Roy said. “If something gets accidentally recorded in a locker room, for example, they can ask for permission to be deleted. Other than that, all the evidence goes to this website.”