Aldermen support police body cameras

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Manchester Police Department Chief Carl Capano on Nov. 20, 2018. Photo/Andrew Sylvia

MANCHESTER, NH – The Manchester Board of Aldermen voiced its support for equipping the city’s police officers with body cameras in response to an ongoing investigation over excessive police force.

VIDEO: Police reviewing use of force during Nov. 18 arrest outside Bonfire

Police officials released a statement regarding the investigation earlier in the day Tuesday, which arose following a video surfaced taken outside of the Bonfire Restaurant and Country Bar early Sunday morning. In that video, officers are seen subduing a man on the ground outside the restaurant, after a restaurant employee had called police for an “uwanted subject.”

Alderman Keith Hirschmann made a motion to send the issue of purchasing body cameras to a committee. Mayor Joyce Craig disallowed the motion, stating that Manchester Police Department Chief Carlo Capano is already researching potential body camera vendors and the chief requires more time to bring a proposal forward.

Capano informed the board that with the current list of potential vendors, cost estimates range from $250,000 to $900,000. In those costs, Capano noted that the primary cost driver was storage space for the video, which costs $18 per officer, per month.

Alderman Joseph Kelly Levasseur on Nov. 20, 2018. Photo/Andrew Sylvia

Alderman Joseph Kelly Levasseur recommended that the body cameras be limited to officers on late night details in downtown areas or officers responding to incidents at bars, citing cost concerns and a goal to target efforts toward where the body cameras are needed most.

Levasseur also believed the body cameras were necessary to help protect police officer safety.

“I want to protect these police officers who have to do what these guys go through,” he said. “When there are 30 or 40 people yelling and screaming at police officers and only five or six police officers down there, what is this city turning into?”

Levasseur was also concerned about possible misrepresentation from videos of incidents taken by the public, and legal repercussions.

“I’m concerned about the losses we’d be put under and I don’t want to see a police officer get hurt,” he said.

No action was taken on Tuesday night regarding the issue. While the mayor disallowed the motion, she echoed Hirschmann’s sentiment that the board supported the chief in his efforts to provide a proposal regarding body cameras.

About this Author


Andrew Sylvia

Assistant EditorManchester Ink Link

Born and raised in the Granite State, Andrew Sylvia has written approximately 10,000 pieces over his career for outlets across Massachusetts, New Hampshire and Vermont. On top of that, he's a licensed notary and licensed to sell property, casualty and life insurance, he's been a USSF trained youth soccer and futsal referee for the past six years and he can name over 60 national flags in under 60 seconds according to that flag game app he has on his phone, which makes sense because he also has a bachelor's degree in geography (like Michael Jordan). He can also type over 100 words a minute on a good day.