NISKAYUNA, N.Y. (NEWS10) — The Niskayuna Police Department announced on April 27 that officers now wear body cameras. Their said their aim is enhancing transparency and accountability to foster public trust.

“Our department members truly embraced these upgraded technologies to enhance transparency in their interactions with the community,” said Niskayuna Police Chief Jordan Kochan. “This technology further provides the ability to capture video evidence during investigations and at crime scenes, as well as oversight of our officers for training purposes. We continue to receive positive feedback from our officers regarding the implementation of both the body worn cameras and integrated patrol vehicle cameras, which were upgraded during this project.”

Uniformed officers will wear the cameras and they will be activated during all law enforcement-related activities, including traffic stops, arrests, and searches. The department said its officers were trained extensively to equip and use the new technology effectively.

“The decision to adopt body-worn cameras was made during the Town’s Police Reform Implementation Task Force meetings in 2022 and we’re proud to deliver on it,” said Town Supervisor Jaime Puccioni. “Body-worn cameras are a critical step in our ongoing efforts to strengthen police-community relationships and enhance public safety.”

Body cameras help ensure police accountability and improve public safety by capturing evidence and making police interactions with residents transparent, according to the department. They said that gearing up and training officers to implement the program was funded mostly by $65,000-plus in grants from the Justice Department the state Division of Criminal Justice Services.

“Body-worn camera programs can be costly, and our team was able to build this program for the needs of our department and community, all while being fiscally responsible to our residents,” said Jessica Brennan, council member and Chair of the Police and Public Safety Committee.

The cameras record audio and video which is stored securely, with limited access. The department said it has set up specific policies to ensure the records are only used for legitimate enforcement needs.