By Laura Hayes, Senior Community Reporter
SHREWSBURY — Shrewsbury will be able to purchase 40 police-worn body cameras.
The funding, which was secured as part of the Fiscal Year 2022 state budget, was announced during the July 27 Board of Selectmen meeting.
“We’re very thankful to [Rep. Hannah Kane (R-Shrewsbury)] and [Senator Michael Moore (D-Millbury)] for their ongoing advocacy and for this being included in the budget,” said Chair John Samia.
Kane and Moore advocated for Shrewsbury to receive $50,000 in public safety funding in both the House and Senate versions of the budget, according to an email from Moore and Kane that was provided to the Community Advocate.
Gov. Charlie Baker signed the budget on July 16.
Selectman Beth Casavant asked what the next steps were.
Town Manager Kevin Mizikar said the town is developing a formal policy for using the body cameras. That process will include negotiating with police unions.
He said the town will also need to make sure it has contracts in place for storage on the Cloud and management of the videos.
According to Mizikar, the town has budgeted for an officer to be promoted to sergeant to oversee the body cameras in addition to other administrative duties.
“There are a couple steps left, but this was the largest unfounded piece of funding for this program,” Mizikar said.
Shrewsbury’s body camera program comes after a similar program was started in Westborough after the Westborough Police Department received a grant for the program. Westborough’s May Town Meeting approved funding for other program costs.