POUGHKEEPSIE – City of Poughkeepsie uniformed police officers are now equipped with body-worn cameras, a move designed to improve the safety of both the officers and the public.
The City is investing $510,120 in the equipment over the next five years. The department’s 65 body-worn cameras include docking stations for charging and downloading and clothing-mounting hardware. Last year, the City entered into a 5-year lease with AXON, a company that provides law enforcement, military and civilians with technology, such as body-worn cameras.
The cameras will provide more transparency about how officers operate in the field – and about the situations to which they respond. The City has consulted with expertsto develop policies that comply with federal and state laws and follow best practices.
“We’re excited about this latest development,” said City of Poughkeepsie Mayor Rob Rolison.
“It’s part of a year-long rollout of initiatives that has made the department stronger and should instill even more public confidence in our police force.”
Those initiatives include hiring new officers to bring the Police Department back to full strength, deploying a school resource officer in the City of Poughkeepsie School District, restoring the community policing unit, and improving the complaint form process. Both the body-worn camera policy and the complaint form are available on the City Police Department’s webpage, https://cityofpoughkeepsie.com/police-department/.
Statistics also are showing that most categories of violent crimes have dropped dramatically over the last decade in the City.
“Just as they have with these other changes, the officers handled the body camera training exceedingly well,” said Police Chief Thomas Pape. “We look forward to continuing to serve the public and believe the cameras will prove an asset to the City.”