On June 19, Mayor Ben Walsh issued the Syracuse Police Reform Executive Order No. 1 Action # 5. The fifth action in the Mayor’s first Executive Order called for the Syracuse Police Department to develop and implement a plan to deploy dashboard cameras on all Syracuse Police Department marked patrol vehicles.
What is a Dashboard Camera/Dash-Cam?
Dashboard cameras are cameras that are installed in police vehicles, which are used to record interactions between the police and the public. Dashboard cameras help improve police-community relations by increasing transparency and accountability. The footage can be used for documentation purposes, criminal investigations, training and development, and to ensure officers are in compliance with all professional standards.
Dashboard Camera Pilot and Implementation Timeline
The Syracuse Police Department completed a pilot of three different models of dashboard cameras and developed recommendations for which model to install in Syracuse Police marked vehicles.
From August 5, 2020 to October 5, 2020, eight officers participated in pilot testing of three different models of dashboard cameras. Officers who were assigned cameras had the opportunity to test the operations and review each of the models. After the pilot concluded on October 5, the dashboard camera models were evaluated on available technology, associated costs, infrastructure already in place, and officer reviews of the dashboard cameras.
On October 23, Syracuse Police finalized a report including officer evaluations of each of the three dashboard camera models piloted. The Syracuse Police Department Technology & Program Management Division will use findings from the pilot to assist with planning full implementation of dashboard cameras on all Syracuse Police marked vehicles with consideration given to:
- Available technology and associated costs;
- Technology infrastructure already in place;
- Officer reviews of the dashboard cameras.
What is needed next to implement dashboard cameras on all SPD marked vehicles?
- Search for and secure available funding through grants and other sources.
- Initiate procurement process to purchase fleet of dashboard cameras.
- Develop policy and procedures related to the use of cameras.
- Train Officers on both equipment and policy/procedures.
- Install equipment in SPD marked vehicles.