The first batch of body-worn cameras for New York state troopers was rolled out in the Capital Region Thursday, state officials said.
The deployment, which was part of a slate of police reform laws passed last June in the wake of George Floyd’s death, is expected to reach the ranks across the state by the fall.
The State Police struck a deal with Axon for 3,000 cameras to equip all troopers on patrol, as well as cloud storage, tech support and software, for $7.6 million per year, according to the governor’s office.
The cameras come equipped with an auto-record function that starts recording when a trooper turns on their emergency light or pulls their firearm or Taser.
Troopers are required to turn on their cameras during any interaction with the public, all uses of force and calls for crimes in progress.
“This step is part of a progressive package of reforms that will increase transparency in policing and accountability among all law enforcement agencies statewide, and we look forward to continuing this important work in the future,” Gov. Andrew Cuomo said.
Added Acting State Police Superintendent Kevin Bruen: “Body-worn cameras are an important tool that will not only reinforce public confidence in the great work our Troopers do each and every day, but will also serve as a critically important investigative tool.”