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SPD Outfits 220 Officers With Body Cameras As Part Of Police Reform Commitment

City of Syracuse

All uniformed police officers in Syracuse are now equipped with body cameras. A total of 220 cameras have been issued to police officers and are to be on whenever any law enforcement activity occurs.

Syracuse Police Chief Kenton Buckner said the cameras have been well received by both officers and the general public. 

“As you know some of the incidents that we have, whether it be a complaint or where we want to do an investigation about exactly what occurred with an incident, these cameras provide that independent verification of some of these incidents,” said Cheif Kenton Buckner.

At the beginning of Mayor Ben Walsh’s term, the department had just 16 body cameras. The cameras were purchased through grants from the New York Attorney General’s office and the Department of Justice.

Syracuse police reform continues even with the large body camera roll out. The city in partnership with Onondaga County is holding six public meetings across the region in the coming weeks to create a plan for police reform. Deputy Mayor Sharon Owens said many municipalities across the state are combining efforts with their counties.

“We believe here in Onondaga County through this collaborative there needs to be a concerted, unified vision and principles and philosophy around police reform by which each municipality can build upon,” said Owens.

Three of the meetings will be specifically for Syracuse city neighborhoods, and all meetings will be held over zoom. This is part of an executive order by Governor Andrew Cuomo that requires local governments to create a police reform plan in order to receive state funding. The plans must be submitted by April 1st, 2021. To register for one of the zoom events or to learn more about the city-county police reform initiative, visit the county’s police reform website.