Body Cameras For State Troopers And Other Changes For NY Cops
In the last week, there have been a lot of changes and proposed changes to policing, police policy, and police tactics across the country and that includes the Capital Region. This comes in response to the widespread protests against police brutality and the death of George Floyd.
Yesterday Albany's Mayor Sheehan announced police reforms including the banning of chokeholds and knee-on-neck holds by Albany officers. Also, it states that an officer is obligated to intervene if another officer is using excessive force. A similar bill was introduced by state lawmakers, passed and will now go to Governor Andrew Cuomo's desk.
Also passed yesterday was a bill to repeal the 50a law that keeps police officer's disciplinary records private.
Another bill by New York lawmakers was to buy body cameras and dashboard cameras for the New York State Police. I didn't realize that State Troopers didn't wear body cameras. I got pulled over on The Thruway and noticed that the Trooper, that let me go with a warning, by the way, wasn't wearing a body camera. I figured he either forgot to put it on or maybe it wasn't working so he wasn't wearing it. That wasn't the case. New York State Police don't have these cameras that protect both them and the public.
The New York State Police is the largest state police force that doesn't use body cameras and dashboard cameras according to an article from Spectrum News.
The New York State Police started looking into cameras at the beginning of this year, but at a cost of about $15 million for body and dashboard cameras it's a huge expense.
Don't expect to see the new state trooper cameras soon though, the bill says that it doesn't take effect until April 2021. That's to give them enough time to research different camera systems and pick the one that works best.
Governor Andrew Cuomo is expected to sign all of these proposed laws as soon as this week.