SPD invites public input on updated Body-Worn Camera Policy

Syracuse Mayor Ben Walsh today announced the successful procurement of 220 body-worn cameras for use by all uniformed officers as outlined in the Syracuse Police Reform Executive Order No. 1 enacted last June.

In addition to acquiring and implementing enough body-worn cameras for patrol officers, the Syracuse Police Department (SPD) updated the Body-Worn Camera Policy providing a draft for the public to review and offer public comments related to its provisions. Public comment on this revised policy opened on October 15, 2020, and is still open.

“When I became mayor, SPD had only 16 test model body-worn cameras available for use by all uniformed officers,” said Mayor Walsh. “The progress SPD has made from then to now is an important step forward and will serve as an additional way to keep both the officers and the community safe. Chief Buckner and I greatly appreciate the partnership of the New York State Attorney General, U.S. Department of Justice and the Syracuse Common Council in making this implementation possible.”

Upon receipt of the full order of body-worn cameras during the summer, all uniformed officers are equipped with cameras as well as 11 patrol sergeants, with the goal of outfitting the remaining 14 patrol sergeants in the future. SPD has registered the devices, linking each to individual officers. Integration with the Onondaga Computer Aided Dispatch (CAD) system was also completed, allowing for the body-worn cameras deployed to-date with the ability to easily find time-stamped footage.

“Since the rollout, both the public and police officers have overwhelmingly supported the use of body-worn cameras,” said Chief Buckner. “I commend our officers and the many others in the department who have supported the implementation. SPD looks forward to continued future use.”

The updated draft policy for use of the body-worn cameras now applies to all uniformed officers after a trial with officers who volunteered or were designated by the police chief. The “ON” position and activation/recording is clearly distinguished in the revised policy, and requirements for when officers can activate and deactivate recording is defined as being during “all law enforcement activity.”

Public comments related to the City of Syracuse draft Body-Worn Camera Policy can be submitted online via the Onondaga County Police Reform and Reinvention Collaborative Web site: policereform.ongov.net/public-comment/.​

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