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Body cameras start rolling out for New York State Police: All troopers will have them by fall

New York State Police are moving forward with body cameras.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo says that Troop G will be the first to use the body-worn cameras. The governor signed legislations into law last June mandating their use.

“At this highly critical time for the relationship between police and the communities they serve across the state, I am proud that we are implementing this program as police agencies statewide do the important work of reimagining their work and repairing trust in the criminal justice system,” Governor Cuomo said in a press release. “This step is part of a progressive package of reforms that will increase transparency in policing and accountability among all law enforcement agencies statewide, and we look forward to continuing this important work in the future.”

The body-worn cameras will be worn by uniform members at the rank of Trooper while they are on patrol. The first cameras will be deployed in Troop G in the Capital Region and training and cameras will be expanded to NYSP members statewide on a gradual, rolling basis. The full deployment for Troop G should be completed by late April or early May.

The cameras will be then be deployed in Troop NYC, with Troops K, L, F, C, E, A, D and B to follow throughout the summer and fall. Troopers stationed in Troop T on the NYS Thruway will receive cameras at the same time as the Troop in which they are geographically located. The exact order and timing of the deployments will depend on the completion of infrastructure and information technology upgrades and buildouts at each of the 250 barracks statewide.

“Body-worn cameras are an important tool that will not only reinforce public confidence in the great work our Troopers do each and every day, but will also serve as a critically important investigative tool. The use of this technology will provide real benefits to the communities we serve,” said State Police Acting Superintendent Kevin P. Bruen.

Axon will supply the State Police with a total of 3,000 cameras and will provide secure cloud video storage, software, and technical support at a cost of $7.6 million per year.

Under the law, State Troopers are required to record video immediately before an officer exits a patrol vehicle to interact with a person or situation; for all uses of force, arrests and summonses; all interactions with individuals suspected of criminal activity; all searches of persons and property; any call to a crime in progress; any investigative actions involving interactions with members of the public; any interaction with an emotionally disturbed person; and any instances where an officer feels any imminent danger or the need to document their time on duty. The cameras will automatically start recording whenever a patrol vehicle’s emergency lighting is activated, and anytime a member unholsters his or her firearm or taser.