Ossining PD chief lauds body camera program for improving accountability, building trust

New York state troopers will now be required to wear body cameras while on patrol amid growing calls for reform and transparency in policing.

News 12 Staff

Jun 17, 2020, 9:41 PM

Updated 1,431 days ago

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New York state troopers will now be required to wear body cameras while on patrol amid growing calls for reform and transparency in policing.
The Ossining Police Department was the first agency in Westchester County to activate a body camera program.
Chief Kevin Sylvester says the program helps improve officer accountability and builds trust with the community - both are now rally cries amid Black Lives Matter protests across the country.
"I think that over time this is something you are going to see on every police officer everywhere," he says.
Gov. Andrew Cuomo signed a law Tuesday requiring all state troopers to now wear body cameras, but stopped short of requiring every local police department to do the same.
"It's a significant financial investment for a municipality," says Sylvester.
For his department of 57 officers, the price tag to launch the program is $40,000 and $17,000 a year just to store the footage.
Each department creates its own policies, including when to wear the cameras and when to turn it on.
Many cities are now considering the technology, including New Rochelle, where the recent police-involved shooting death of Kamal Flowers was only captured on nearby surveillance footage.
Chief Sylvester says it takes a combination of tools and leadership to build trust and improve transparency.
 
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