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Springfield Blocked From Putting Video Cameras In Police Cruisers

A Massachusetts state labor management arbitration panel has blocked the city of Springfield from putting video cameras in police cruisers.

   The arbitration panel sided with the Springfield patrolman’s union and ordered the creation of a study committee to evaluate recording equipment in police cars.  Talbert Swan, president of the Springfield chapter of the NAACP was critical of the ruling. He said video cameras in cruisers promote officer safety and public accountability.

  " I think Springfield is a little behind the times in terms of the advancement of this technology."

   The arbitration panel awarded the police union a 2 percent annual pay raise in a new three year contract and directed the city to pay full salary bonuses to police officers who earn additional college degrees.  The state in recent years stopped paying a 50 percent share of the benefit.

Paul Tuthill is WAMC’s Pioneer Valley Bureau Chief. He’s been covering news, everything from politics and government corruption to natural disasters and the arts, in western Massachusetts since 2007. Before joining WAMC, Paul was a reporter and anchor at WRKO in Boston. He was news director for more than a decade at WTAG in Worcester. Paul has won more than two dozen Associated Press Broadcast Awards. He won an Edward R. Murrow award for reporting on veterans’ healthcare for WAMC in 2011. Born and raised in western New York, Paul did his first radio reporting while he was a student at the University of Rochester.