Suffolk County approves bill to fund body cameras for police

A resolution authorizing funding to purchase body cameras for all public-facing members of the Suffolk County Police Department was approved unanimously by the Suffolk County Legislature at its general meeting on June 7.

“From the very beginning, one of the main goals of Suffolk’s Police Reform & Reinvention Task Force, on which I proudly served as a member, was increasing the number of officers with body-worn cameras,” said Suffolk County Legislature Minority Leader Jason Richberg. “I’m thrilled to be able to say that goal has been accomplished and all public-facing members of the department will soon be equipped with body cameras. This is not a partisan issue- two years ago, when my colleague Legislator Piccirillo and I suggested the legislature begin gathering information on body cameras, the goal was to balance public safety and accountability. I believe this program will accomplish that goal while also strengthening the relationship between the public and our police, and helping keep our residents, neighborhoods and officers safe.”

The bill officially authorizes the issuance of $8,000,000 in Suffolk County Serial Bonds to purchase body cameras for all public-facing members of the Suffolk County Police Department, along with ancillary items including hardware, software and initial training. The initiative aims to enhance accountability from personnel, increase public trust and transparency, and aid case resolution and evidentiary corroboration while also providing an effective training tool for both police recruits and veteran officers. A pilot program is currently in progress in the Seventh Precinct and cameras will be rolled out to all of Suffolk’s seven precincts in the coming months. 

Image courtesy of thesatimes

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