Vermont State Police troopers have begun wearing a new piece of gear: body cameras.
The Department of Safety began outfitting troopers on Nov. 12, with all 200 troopers due to have them by early next month, the department said in a press release.
“We’ve been working toward this important step for many years,” said Col. Matthew T. Birmingham, director of the Vermont State Police. “This will enable us to serve our communities with another dimension of transparency.”
The roll out caps a three-year process to develop policy and secure funding from the legislature. Gov. Phil Scott signed a bill into law in July mandating troopers activate the cameras when they are performing any law enforcement activity, such as traffic stops or criminal investigations. The system, which the department said cost about $760,000, also includes in-car cradle chargers. A cloud storage storage system for the body-cam and dashboard cameras will run about $294,000 a year.
“It’s exciting to see these cameras in the field,” Col. Birmingham said. “The public has been asking for us to have them, and our troopers have wanted them.”
Public access to the videos will be governed by the Vermont Public Records Act, the department said.