Skip To Main Content

Police Department Requests Cruiser & Body Worn Cameras

The Police Department is requesting nearly $1,000,000 for a lease agreement for cruiser and body worn video and audio recording equipment. The equipment will be used by sworn officers to record certain interactions while on duty. The use of the equipment will be directed by policy when the program is implemented.

The cameras would bring the Scarborough Police department up to industry standards; Scarborough is one of only a few departments in Southern Maine who do not possess either camera system. The camera implementation will be used for risk management and officer safety, courtroom proceedings, increased transparency, employee performance, evaluations and training. The body-worn cameras will have the capability for our dispatchers to view a live feed of our officers at high-risk calls for service or traffic stops. This vantage point will allow our dispatchers to communicate to responding officers about the status of the officer on scene if the officer is not able to notify dispatch via portable radio. The video obtained through body-worn and in-car camera systems can also be used as evidence to corroborate eye witness or an officer’s testimony during a court proceeding.

Our department is receptive to being transparent with our citizens regarding our actions during the course of our duties. There has been an increased expectation from citizens for transparency of police agencies throughout the nation over the last several years. The purchase of the camera system would allow our department to collect video evidence of interactions during the course of police activities. In certain instances when the video would enhance public trust or justify the actions of an officer, the video may be released for public consumption, if legally authorized to be released. The Scarborough Police Department expects our officers to conduct themselves in a professional manner at all times. The implementation of body-worn and in-car cameras will provide further accountability of our officer’s conduct in the eyes of the public.

There are currently 46 sworn members of the Scarborough Police Department, including reserve officers. In the planning for future growth of the organization, the budget request is for (50) body-worn camera devices and (10) in-car cruiser cameras for each marked cruiser. The total cost to lease both camera systems for 5-years is $996,707. This cost includes unlimited cloud storage as recommended by IT. An investment of this amount would require voter approval in the November election. 

Scarborough's e-Newsletter is another great way to stay informed and up to date on what is happening in your local government and around town. For additional information on Scarborough news, events, and meetings, see how you can "Stay Connected", and subscribe to our newsletter.