Narragansett police officers are now required by department policy to wear a body-worn camera at all times during their shift.
NARRAGANSETT, RI — The Narragansett Police Department launched its body-worn camera program on Thursday, Police Chief Sean Corrigan said.
Officers have been piloting the body-worn cameras since March, but the full program began Thursday. Thirty-one patrol officers and supervisors have been outfitted with body-worn cameras, which are embedded in their uniform to prevent them from detaching, and have received training on how the devices operate and function, according to Corrigan.
Those officers are now required by department policy to wear the body-worn camera at all times during their shift. Policy dictates that they activate the camera during all interactions with the public, including a call for service, any investigative or enforcement activity, at the beginning of any pursuit or emergency driving, and when the officer is assisting another officer in any of the above situations.
“Body-worn camera programs are well-recognized as a modern best practice for law enforcement that advance transparency and accountability, and help to foster public trust and confidence,” Corrigan said. “We look forward to implementing this program as part of our commitment to following best practices and professional standards.”
Officers will keep in consideration the expectation of privacy when activating the body-worn camera in certain areas, such as private homes or hospitals, Corrigan said.
The department’s full body-worn camera policy, including expectations regarding activation and deactivation, retention and access to recordings, is available online here.
Corrigan said before the launch of the program, Narragansett police conducted research into policy and best practices, vetted vendors, worked with the selected vendor to tailor the system for the department’s needs, and developed formal policies for camera use and data storage. The department worked with Utility, Inc. to purchase the cameras and equipment.
Narragansett police purchased 31 body-worn cameras, which were paid for with a $271,250 grant from the state and the U.S. Department of Justice. The grant awarded to the Narragansett Police Department was part of $16 million in grant awards for 42 law enforcement agencies that were announced by state, federal and law enforcement leaders in October 2022.