ALBANY, N.Y. -- Governor Andrew M. Cuomo has announced $1
million in funding will be available to law enforcement agencies to video record
"Fairness and integrity form the foundation of our justice system, and New York State is committed to providing local law enforcement with the resources necessary to improve the effectiveness of the process," Governor Cuomo said. "Wrongful convictions not only harm the innocent, but they allow the actual perpetrators of crime to remain free. The new equipment that will result from this funding will improve the strength of New York's criminal justice system, making all New Yorkers safer as a result."
The one time grant, available through the New York State
Division of Criminal Justice Services, will fund either the purchase and
installation of video recording equipment for police departments and sheriffs'
offices that have not yet implemented the practice, or allow agencies to
upgrade older equipment to ensure it functions properly.
Currently, 345 law enforcement agencies in 58 of the state's 62 counties video record the interrogations of individuals suspected of committing crimes in their communities. These grant funds will allow the remaining agencies in those 58 counties that don't currently video record interrogations to do so and also will expand the practice for the first time to agencies in Hamilton, Seneca, Schoharie and Tioga counties. There are more than 500 local and county agencies in the state.
DCJS will receive and review grant applications, which must be submitted by district attorneys' offices in cooperation with law enforcement agencies in their counties.
DAs' offices will receive the funds and provide them to the
appropriate law enforcement agency in their respective counties. They must also
partner with police agencies in their counties to develop video recording
protocols to detail, among other items, the type of crimes with which an
individual is charged that would require the interview to be recorded.
The grant recipients are scheduled to be announced sometime this fall.