(JOHNSON CITY) On Friday, Johnson City Police Chief Brent Dodge provided a demonstration to Sen. Fred Akshar and the Media of the Department's newly implemented body camera and patrol car equipment.
JCPD has begun utilizing 25 new body cameras and 5 new patrol car computers to better equip officers patrolling the streets of the Village. That means increased transparency, accountability and efficiency for both the officers and the public they serve according to Chief Dodge.
“A lack of trust is one of the biggest barriers to effective community policing,” said Chief Dodge. “The implementation of our body camera program will help strengthen the trust bond between our officers and our residents, which will enable our department to better serve the community. These cameras are essential for an open and transparent police department. The department also needs to stay current with the technology in our patrol cars in order to efficiently and effectively complete routine tasks. These computers and body cameras come at a significant expense and would likely not yet be a reality for us without the help of Senator Akshar.”
Body Cameras: During the average day, 12-14 officers on duty will utilize the body cameras. When returned to the station, footage can be uploaded and accessed in a matter of seconds.
Patrol Car Computers: Modernized patrol car computers brings Johnson City Police up to New York State standards and allows them to better utilize the State's TraCs system. TraCs allows officers to process tickets and accident reports on a computer in the patrol car, print copies for the involved citizens and electronically transmit the data to the courts and other involved state agencies. Officers can also complete a magnitude of law enforcement forms in the vehicle and import case data directly into their records management system. Each year, TraCS transmits over 2,000,000 traffic citations and 200,000 crash reports. Electronic transmissions of tickets and crash reports continue to grow, breaking all previous records.
Funding for the equipment came from a $50,000 Public Protection Grant secured by Senator Fred Akshar in last year's 2016-17 State Budget.
“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.”
“I believe the implementation of the body cameras and the new computers are a welcome addition to our force,” said Johnson City Mayor Greg Deemie. “I believe it is important they have the tools needed to effectively protect the residents of the Village. I would like to Thank Senator Akshar for providing the funding and support to our department.”
Grants are administered through the New York State Department of Criminal Justice Services.