Schenectady implementing body cam program


The Schenectady Police Department says, on average, it responds to 85,000 calls a year.

While the number of violent crimes has gone down, Schenectady Police are putting a new program in place that will be beneficial to both the department and the community.

“We are right now implementing a body cam program. We have gone through a pilot program within the department for the last 12 weeks. They are testing for different models of equipment,” Schenectady Police Assistant Chief Michael Sieber said.

The Schenectady Police Department employs 162 officers. Of that number, 110 of them are associated with uniform patrols.

“We are going to equip every officer, every uniformed officer, with that technology.”

The department received a $165,000 grant over a year ago to cover a portion of the body camera costs.

“The city does have a match for the body cameras. They let us use in-kind services, the people running this program, some of their salaries. In other words, I have a lieutenant where 10 percent of his salary can be applied to this grant. The only money the citizens of Schenectady had to put up was that we had to buy a server for approximately $50,000.”

Sieber says the body cameras will be beneficial for not just the officers but the community.

“It will provide more transparency to the department, which we obviously encourage. If there’s a dispute and someone thinks an officer was discourteous or something happens, we can go back to the video to prove or disprove.”

The department is looking forward to using the technology.

“We are very excited about it. It’s a great tool for police officers and a great tool for transparency.”

The department plans on implementing the body cameras at the beginning of next year.

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