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Boardman police activate body cameras

Boardman police are now equipped with Motorola body cameras.

BOARDMAN — Boardman police officers are now equipped with body cameras after a year-long process.

Police Chief Todd Werth told the board of trustees Monday that the body cameras were turned on officially as of that morning. The board approved a five-year service agreement with Motorola for the cameras at a cost of $216,000 in July after the department did a three-week-long trial of three body-camera systems in April.

“It’s been a year-long process, I really appreciate the support from the board through all of this. Our officers have really been on board since the start; we’ve worked with their unions to address their concerns and those were easy to work through,” Werth said, addressing the board. “I think it’s going to increase our transparency and accountability while memorializing what a good job our officers do.”

Werth described the cameras as the “Chevy or Ford” of body cameras. Werth said part of the decision to go with Motorola is for its compatibility with the department’s record management software, allowing officers to download body camera footage straight to their case files.

“They (body cameras) sync to that; it just creates a seamless transition,” Werth said.

Werth added that patrol officers will not be the only department employees equipped with cameras. Werth himself along with his detectives, school resources officers and federal task force officers will all wear them as well.

“If an officer takes a report or interacts with somebody, that recording goes in the case file. If a detective does an interview, there’s body camera footage of it in the case file,” Werth said. “It’s really a big step for us in terms of putting everything together.”

In other business, the board:

l Authorized the purchase of four automated external defibrilator devices for $13,231 from Stryker Medical for use by the township and police department.

l Approved the employment of attorney Matthew G. Vansuch as additional legal counsel to advise the township on matters relating to the exercise of its limited home rule authority and on zoning or other matters when referred by the law director.

l Adopted a resolution to authorize the board to amend an agreement with the Mahoning County commissioners for demolition funding for the Market Street School project to extend the completion date to Aug. 31. Township Administrator Jason Loree hopes for demolition to be completed in the spring.

lnickel@tribtoday.com

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