Stafstrom leads passage of bill that would help restore public trust in law enforcement

May 30, 2017

At a time of increased sensitivity surrounding relations between law enforcement and communities, State Rep. Steve Stafstrom, D-Bridgeport, led House passage of a bill that would allow cities and towns, including Bridgeport, to tap into a $9 million reserve of state funding to purchase body cameras and dashboard cameras for police cruisers.

Through House Bill 7308, the Office of Policy and Management would be able to administer a grant program to provide grants-in-aid to reimburse municipalities for costs associated with purchasing police body cameras or recording equipment.

“Body cameras and recording equipment have proven to be powerful resources for police. We need to make sure every municipality has access to this tool,” Stafstrom, vice chairman of the Judiciary Committee, said.

HB 7308, which was approved in the House of Representatives in a 148-1 vote, seeks to establish a task force to review and examine the use of body cameras by law enforcement. The legislation now heads to the Senate for further consideration.

If approved, this legislation would improve the trust between law enforcement and communities by increasing transparency.

“We need to make sure our police departments have the necessary policies and safeguards in place to protect our communities. Recording police interactions with the public will not only increase transparency, it will also help resolve any complaints against law enforcement,” Stafstrom said.

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Press Release: Stafstrom leads passage of bill that would help restore public trust in law enforcement