Paterson Police Department getting body cameras as part of pilot program

PATERSON, New Jerseyw (WABC) -- Police in Paterson, New Jersey, are being outfitted with body cameras as part of a pilot program, the city announced Tuesday.

The device roll-out is expected to increase transparency and accountability, and officials say it is an important part of policing in the 21st century.

The program is expected to expand quickly, with two dozen officers part of the initial launch.

It's an effort to provide an additional level of protection for police officers accused of over stepping their authority, and those already involved in the program have told their superiors that the cameras are a good thing.

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It will cost the city about a half-million dollars, but officials say it could ultimately save the city money in costs by reducing the number of citizens complaints about police conduct.

"This would be stepping in the right direction relative to transparency and accountability, and one item we want to address going forward is establishing that trust between police and the public," Mayor Andre Sayegh said.

They say it is good for both the officers and the citizens.

"It's helping both sides, and it's all about trust," Officer Kevin Brito said. "We look forward to gaining the public's trust, and that's what's most important to us. As long as they trust us, we trust them, it makes it safe and better for everybody."

The hope is to expand this program to 400 officers by the summer.

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