Bridgeport to launch body cam, car cam pilot program

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BRIDGEPORT -

Bridgeport police announced Sunday that their encounters with the public will soon be recorded as part of an effort to make policing more transparent.

Bridgeport Police Chief AJ Perez says after more than a year of conducting research, it's time for his officers to have body cams and car cams.

Perez says his department interviewed five different companies that specialize in selling body and dash cams, which record events in which officers and the public are involved. The move is part of a national trend to increase both police and citizen accountability.

He says a pilot program will soon be launched using funding from the state, to equip 10 percent of officers on patrol with devices he says have been proven to reduce complaints and the use of force.

Video that is recorded by these devices has to be archived, and Perez says the primary challenge for the state's biggest department is dealing with the cost of doing that. But one way or another, he says police patrols in Bridgeport will soon be recorded.

Police say body cams also protect officers from false complaints.

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