North Smithfield police launch new body camera program

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By Ryan Johnson - https://www.flickr.com/photos/northcharleston/25763393046, CC BY-SA 2.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=52373022, CC BY-SA 2.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=66137169

NORTH SMITHFIELD – Officers in North Smithfield are now wearing body cameras, thanks to a grant-funded initiative that went into effect in early June.

Police Chief Tim Laffery said a trial period for the program first launched in October, and that all officers in a patrol function were outfitted with the body worn cameras as of the beginning of this month.

Lafferty reportedly spearheaded the project prior to becoming chief, while he was working as an operations captain for the North Smithfield Police Department in 2019.

“With the recent availability of grant funding the project was able to be launched,” the chief said in a release.

NSPD is the latest agency to announce full implementation of a statewide effort first announced last year. The town received a $207,500 grant for 22 cameras from the Rhode Island Department of Public Safety in 2022. At the time, the department was one of 42 across Rhode Island to receive funding slated to equip approximately 1,773 frontline officers.

“Cameras will add transparency, provide accountability, and give a point-of-view perspective – to every police contact,” said Col. Darnell Weaver, superintendent of the Rhode Island State Police in announcing the effort.

The Glocester Police Department announced the launch of that agency’s program in May.

Earlier this year, the NSPD was awarded a $375,000 grant from the federal Justice Department’s Office of Community Policing Services, $13,000 of which was dedicated to the purchase of additional cameras.

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