10.26.18 - Funding for Endicott and Vestal Police Departments to Utilize New Body Cameras to Maximize Safety, Productivity, and Transparency

October 26, 2018

For more information, please contact: Emmanuel Priest, Director of Public Affairs - 607.773.8771 or ELP@Senate52.com

(ENDICOTT, NY) On Friday, Senator Fred Akshar joined the Endicott and Vestal police departments for a demonstration of their newest upgrades, 65 new officer body cameras to increase transparency and accountability while improving relationships between law enforcement and the community.

“Our community is fortunate to have a strong and supportive relationship with law enforcement and emergency services,” said Senator Fred Akshar. “I want to make sure I do my part as state senator to help strengthen that relationship, increase transparency and give our police and emergency services the tools they need to better protect and serve our community. These grants are about helping protect our families, but they also help keep taxes low by easing the burden on local government. That savings is passed on to the taxpayers across the 52nd Senate District.”

In the fall, officers began utilizing the body cameras on patrol and in the field. While the cameras are always on and rolling footage, the officer maintains control over when the camera starts to record and save footage. Once the officer activates the body camera, high definition audio and visual footage starts to record, and the previous 30 seconds of film before activation can be retrieved. Police departments all over the country are implementing body cameras because they provide accountability and peace of mind. Footage can be referenced when questions of fact come up, which helps build a sense of trust between the community and law enforcement.

Endicott Police Chief Patrick Garey said, “The new body-worn cameras will assist with the documentation and collection of evidence and may help to show opportunities for further police training. The cameras will also assist with the prosecution of cases.”

Vestal Police Lieutenant Christopher Streno said, “This new technology is a necessary and vital tool for law enforcement. It promotes efficiency and accuracy for police reports and serves as another safety measure for our officers and the public we serve.”

Funding for the equipment was secured through Public Protection Grants secured by Senator Fred Akshar in the 2017-18 State Budget. Vestal Police Department received $40,000 and Endicott Police Department received $50,000 to purchase and implement the technology.

Grants are administered through the New York State Department of Criminal Justice Services.