Depew police officers will be wearing body cameras starting next month.
The police department recently bought 25 body cameras, which cost $60,000, with funding that Assemblywoman Monica P. Wallace, D-Lancaster, secured in the state budget.
The cameras use cloud-based storage and are designed to start filming automatically once an officer turns on emergency lights in a patrol vehicle. Police are expected to start using them in mid-September.
“Body cameras are an effective way to increase transparency and record police interactions,” Wallace said.
Mayor Kevin Peterson said that during last summer's New York State Police Reform and Reinvention Collaborative initiative, it was agreed that outfitting each police officer with the cameras would be a good way to protect both the officer and the public.
“I came across a statement that I truly believe in – ‘If officers and citizens are being watched, we are both more liable to do the right thing,’ ” Peterson said.
The Buffalo News: Good Morning, Buffalo
The smart way to start your day. We sift through all the news to give you a concise, informative look at the top headlines and must-read stories every weekday.
I grew up in Rochester, graduated from St. Bonaventure University and worked in radio before joining The Buffalo News. I report on issues in local communities. Over the years I have covered stories in every town in Erie County.