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AG wants NY to fund body cameras for state police

Dec 03, 2019 1:00 pm
Amanda Purcell is reporting for Columbia-Greene Media an Associated Press survey recently found the New York State Police are one of the few large-scale city and state police agencies nationwide that do not use body-worn cameras. Based on the study, the New York Civil Liberties Union and state Attorney General Letitia James have called on Gov. Andrew Cuomo and lawmakers to take action. A bill that would require state police to wear body-worn cameras was introduced in the state legislature this fall. As of this week, the bill was still in committee. Locally, the Hudson Police Department is working on becoming the first full-time police agency to use body-worn cameras. The estimated cost would be $800 per unit, plus maintenance, data storage, training and more. The village of Chatham equipped its part-time department with the cameras several years ago. Greene County Sheriff-elect Peter Kusminsky said he will be looking into body cameras for sheriff’s deputies. James has recognized the biggest hurdle for state police to use the cameras is cost. Currently, the AG's office is using forfeiture money to fund body-worn cameras at local departments in the state. Just last month James presented the Rochester Police Department with $163,000 for 100 body-worn camera systems. But with more than 5,000 members, the state police division is the second largest law enforcement agency in the state and the ninth largest in the nation. The footage from body-worn cameras has been used as a tool to investigate alleged wrongdoing, uncover misconduct, and record high-risk incidents. Read the full story at HudsonValley360 [dot] com.
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