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Vermont State Police begin using trooper body cameras

November 23, 2020 GMT

WATERBURY, Vt. (AP) — Vermont State Police troopers have begun wearing body cameras designed to record their interactions with members of the public, police said.

The first troopers began wearing body cameras Nov. 12 at the Westminster barracks. Troopers based in Middlesex began wearing them on Nov. 19 and on Monday troopers based in Williston began using them.

By early December all 200 uniformed troopers from the state’s 10 barracks are expected to have the cameras.

Vermont State Police Director Col. Matthew Birmingham said they’ve been working for years to equip troopers with body cameras. “This will enable us to serve our communities with another dimension of transparency,” he said.

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Troopers are required to activate the cameras when they are performing any law-enforcement-related activity, such as traffic stops or criminal investigations.

The state police has used cameras on cruiser dashboards since 2000. In 2015, the state police launched the effort to get body cameras for troopers.

In 2018, members of the Vermont State Police Tactical Services Unit began using body cameras.

The cameras and related hardware cost about $760,000. Data storage requires an annual appropriation of $294,000.