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All state corrections officers in N.H. issued body cameras

COs must wear the cameras while on duty and activate them during incidents such as entering a housing unit or while escorting inmates in handcuffs or shackles


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By Paul Feely
The New Hampshire Union Leader, Manchester

MANCHESTER, N.H. — Every sworn officer in the state’s Department of Corrections is being issued a body-worn camera, making New Hampshire just the second department in the country to outfit state corrections officers with the devices.

All emergency vehicles are also being equipped with in-vehicle camera systems, officials said in a news release.

New Hampshire corrections officials began a pilot program of body-worn cameras using a U.S. Department of Justice Bureau of Justice Assistance federal grant awarded in 2019.

The grant provided technical assistance to develop policy and fund the purchase of 52 body-worn cameras for a total of $52,006. The pilot program’s implementation was delayed due to the COVID-19 pandemic, officials said.

Corrections officials argued for additional state general funds during the budgeting process to deploy cameras throughout the department, after the state’s Commission on Law Enforcement Accountability, Community and Transparency (LEACT) encouraged all law enforcement agencies to use body and/or dash cameras.

Beyond the $52,006 Department of Justice grant, the body-worn camera systems — including equipment and storage — is funded through $720,000 in state general funds.

In the video below, Gordon Graham discusses the importance of activating your body-worn camera.

Corrections officials began the pilot program in July 2023 in the Secure Psychiatric Unit and expanded it to the rest of the department, including all corrections officers at the prisons and transitional housing units and all investigators and probation parole officers.

To date, more than 450 body-worn cameras are deployed department-wide, and all 55 of the department’s emergency vehicles are outfitted with cameras on the dash or inside the transport compartment.

According to departmental policy, officers must wear the cameras while on duty and must activate the cameras during reportable incidents or activities including entering a housing unit or resident living space, responding to emergency situations, pat-down searches of residents, during the movement of any escorted resident in handcuffs or shackles and during any planned attempt to serve an arrest warrant or other planned arrest in the field.

Some automatic camera triggers also exist, including unholstering a taser or firearm, or activating emergency lights in a vehicle, with more automatic triggers being added as aged equipment is updated.

Following a competitive bid process, Axon Enterprise Inc. was selected as the vendor for the project.

Axon Body 3 cameras are the deployed body worn cameras while the Axon Fleet 3 is deployed as the in-vehicle camera systems.

Manchester police switched to Axon due to frustrations with the prior camera vendor, Utility.


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