City police officers now wearing body worn cameras

(Photo provided by Kevin L. Smith of The Cortland Voice).

The City of Cortland Police Department recently announced that all of its officers are now wearing body-worn cameras.

City police officers began wearing their body-worn cameras (BWC) on Monday (April 1). After several years of research and planning, officers will wear Axon BWCs for all calls of service. According to a release, city police chose Axon BWC for its “ease of use, reliability and available features.”

The total cost for the five-year Axon BWC program was $100,000. It will become a budgetary item moving forward to maintain and support the program. About $40,000 in grant funding helped to offset the cost of the program.

The release provided details on an officers’ use of the BWCs:

“Officers will be required to manually activate the BWC prior to or upon arrival to a scene and shall maintain recording until they have completed a call. The use of BWCs is intended to assist officers in the performance of their duties, increase transparency and accountability of CPD operations, protect officers against false accusations of misconduct, and gather evidence for use in the prosecution of crimes.

“Recording all law enforcement interactions between officers and members of the public provides valuable information for officer accountability and effective criminal investigations.”

The city police department thanked mayor Scott Steve for his assistance in securing funding for the program and for the support in implementing BWCs for officers.