Albany Co. Sheriff’s Office to start using body cameras

Local News

ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) — Albany County paramedics and members of the Albany County Sheriff’s Office will soon be required to wear body cameras.

“This is to protect the public as well as to protect our employees,” said Albany County Sheriff Craig Apple. “And the video can’t lie.”

Each camera has three buttons that can be pressed depending on the situation they are responding to. This allows the footage to be sorted and directly placed into separate folders.

“Use of force, excess of force, anything to that will effect will obviously be reviewed immediately,” said Sheriff Apple. “Other than that, there will be periodic reviews x amount of times per week per officer.”

The body cameras will have enough battery power to record eight to 10 hours of footage and will work well with other equipment already in use.

“We chose Panasonic because our patrol cars on the street are outfitted with Panasonic in-car cameras. So the minute that the red lights are on everything is activated. The in-car camera will go on and the body camera will go on.”

Thanks to a state grant from the attorney general and assets from forfeiture funds, roughly 200 body cameras have been purchased.

“There is a strict discipline policy with it. If you forget to turn it on, you cover it, or angle it in a way that you can’t see what’s going on, the discipline is severe.”

When it comes to footage recorded from a paramedic’s camera, Sheriff Apple said they will respect patient privacy and the video will not be easily shared.

“If we have to release something for court, regarding a patient, with the software we can blur the face. It’s very, very usable.”

Sheriff Apple said, while they have 200 cameras now, that number may increase next year.

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