State Senator David Valesky Secured $300,000 in State Aid to Fund the Program Expansion

SYRACUSE, N.Y. – The City of Syracuse today announced $300,000 to fund an expanded implementation of its body-worn camera program, which is expected to begin in October. State Senator David Valesky, 53rd district, secured the funding through the Aid and Incentives for Municipalities (AIM) program.

“Body cameras provide protection to both the police and members of the community, and we hope they will increase trust between officers and residents. Senator Valesky’s support enabled the City to move forward with the implementation and meet our goal of rolling out this program within the calendar year,” said Mayor Ben Walsh. “Increasing the use of technology in public safety comes with new costs in equipment and staffing. We appreciate Senator Valesky’s support.”

“In my first meeting with Mayor Walsh, he indicated that implementing the body-worn camera program was a priority for him,” Senator David J. Valesky said. “I was happy to work with him to secure funding for this additional tool that the police department can use to improve public safety.”

Training for the program will begin in October with a cohort of 15 officers. Additional groups of 15 officers will be trained and incorporated into the program as the year continues. The expanded implementation provides the police department with 110 cameras and supporting technology.

The department is in the process of developing a formal policy for the body-worn camera implementation. It will be released to the public prior to the start of the expansion in October.

“Syracuse United Neighbors [SUN] has for years worked to seek funding and technical expertise to increase the use of video technology in Syracuse, especially in our high-crime neighborhoods,” said Rich Puchalski, executive director of SUN. “Technology like COPS cameras and body-worn cameras are invaluable to our community and the police department.”

The first year of the expanded implementation is a one-year free trial. The $300,000 will cover the one-time, startup program fee and the first year of annual costs for approximately 110 cameras. The City will continue to seek grant money to further support the program.

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