Wilmington explores police body cameras

 (John Jankowski/for Newsworks)

(John Jankowski/for Newsworks)

Wilmington police officers are one step closer to wearing body cameras thanks to a new study supported by the mayor.

On Friday Mayor Dennis Williams signed an Executive Order to implement a study on the use of body cameras within the Wilmington Police Department. This is all part of an ongoing effort to regain the community’s trust and prevent future complaints against officers.

“Body cameras have the potential to be an effective tool in increasing the level of transparency and accountability between law enforcement officials and the citizens they serve,” Williams said.

The mayor added that once the study is completed “the Wilmington Police Department intends to implement the cameras.” Wilmington Police Chief Bobby Cummings will enforce the Executive Order as well as oversee the trial project.  According to the Williams Administration the study may also call for the department’s current camera systems to be updated.

Earlier this year President Barack Obama and the Justice Department committed to providing $20 million to police departments for body cameras in the wake of  community policing concerns making national headlines. Although jurisdictions such as Wilmington will be allowed to eventually purchase the body-worn cameras, departments will charged to provide evaluations of how well the program works as a result.

Want a digest of WHYY’s programs, events & stories? Sign up for our weekly newsletter.

It will take 126,000 members this year for great news and programs to thrive. Help us get to 100% of the goal.