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Home » News » Millions in state money coming for police body cams, technology, and pretrial services across Upstate New York

Millions in state money coming for police body cams, technology, and pretrial services across Upstate New York

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  • Staff Report 

Millions in investment is coming to public safety, according to Gov. Kathy Hochul, who made an announcement at an event on Wednesday.

Credit: Mike Groll, Governor Kathy Hochul’s office.

The first in-person Criminal Justice Services Symposium was held since the pandemic. Gov. Hochul announced $20 million for new technology at local law enforcement agencies across the state.

An additional $10 million was announced for body cameras, storage, software, and accompanying equipment at police departments and sheriff’s offices across the state.

There will also be $20 million spent on pretrial services funding. That money will go to counties outside of New York City to promote public safety, according to the governor.

Administered by the New York State Division of Criminal Justice Services, $30 million will be dedicated for new technologies and body-worn cameras for local law enforcement agencies, which will help prevent, reduce, and solve crime, as well as build trust within communities. Additionally, $20 million will be allocated to pretrial services in all counties outside of New York City, which will help return more individuals to court by providing them with services and supervision.

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“My administration is wholly committed to providing the tools our partners in law enforcement need, including the largest state public safety investment in a generation: $227 million,” Governor Hochul said. “Today, I’m proud to announce $50 million in public safety funding, which will help ensure all facets of the criminal justice system have the tools and resources needed to keep New Yorkers safe. New York is taking a comprehensive approach to public safety, and by investing in our law enforcement agencies, court systems, and beyond, we are untangling and supporting our public safety ecosystem to ensure that we not only reduce crime but prevent it.”

During the Symposium, Governor Hochul highlighted that nearly 7,000 illegal guns have been seized by the State Police and law enforcement agency partners since January, attributable to the increased cooperation and collaboration from the Interstate Task Force on Illegal Guns. This work — paired with record investments in law enforcement and community-based organizations to prevent and reduce gun violence — has helped to produce significant results. While shootings across the country have dropped roughly 2 percent, the 20 major police departments outside of New York City reported a 10 percent decrease in shooting incidents for the first eight months of 2022 compared to 2021. Specifically, Buffalo has experienced a 36 percent drop in shootings, followed by Yonkers down 27 percent, Utica and Long Island down 21 percent, and Mount Vernon down 11 percent. Additionally, New York City reported a 13 percent reduction in shootings.

Governor Hochul secured funding in the FY23 Budget for technology to help police departments and sheriffs’ offices prevent, reduce, and solve crimes, particularly violent crimes involving firearms. Administered by the DCJS, $20 million in State funding will be made available to police departments and sheriffs’ offices to invest in new technologies. DCJS will open applications to law enforcement agencies for technology requests in mid-December, including license plate readers, mobile and fixed surveillance cameras, unmanned aerial vehicles, gunshot detection devices, smart equipment for patrol vehicles and officers, and other kinds of public safety equipment, supporting up to $20 million in technology requests. DCJS will also issue a request for information from September 30 to November 18 to obtain feedback from police departments and sheriffs’ offices on the types of technology they need.

From September 30 to December 2, DCJS will also issue a request for applications for body-worn cameras and associated software and equipment, such as storage, in law enforcement agencies outside of New York City. $10 million in funding will support up to 5,000 cameras and accompanying technology. This deployment of body-worn cameras is intended to improve police officer interactions with the public and serve as an integrated part of a law enforcement agency’s problem-solving and community-engagement strategy, helping to increase public trust and communication.

DCJS will also distribute $20 million in pretrial services funding to all counties outside of New York City. As outlined in the Governor’s 2022 State of the State policy agenda, this funding will support a continuum of pretrial services, including screening and assessments, supervision, a centralized case management system, and dedicated information sharing with the court system. Probation departments and community-based providers will receive this critical funding to expand and enhance services that enhance public safety and return more people to court. DCJS allocated this funding based on the five-year average of lower court arraignments in each county and plans to notify counties of their awards on September 29.

The State’s FY 23 Budget contains $227 million to fund innovative programs and partnerships implemented by law enforcement agencies and community-based organizations, including:

  • $18.2 million for law enforcement agencies that participate in the GIVE initiative, which uses evidence-based strategies to reduce shootings and save lives in the 20 communities in 17 counties hardest hit by gun violence.
  • $15 million for New York’s network of 10 Crime Analysis Centers, which collect and share information and intelligence – including crime gun data – among more than 350 state and local law enforcement agencies, serving as a critical resource to deter, investigate, and solve crimes, including firearm-involved violent crimes. The Centers also assist any law enforcement agency upon request and in 2021, the Centers responded to more than 60,000 requests for assistance.
  • $24.9 million for SNUG and community-based gun violence initiatives that use a public health approach to address gun violence: identify the source, interrupt the transmission and treat those affected by providing comprehensive services and support to address the trauma resulting from long-term exposure to gun violence. This investment will also support programming to help meet the basic needs of vulnerable young people; and provide skills-based job-readiness and work-placement training, among other initiatives.
  • $2.5 million for the Office of Gun Violence Prevention within the State Department of Health to coordinate interagency gun violence reduction efforts, analyze data and support public awareness work.