The Rockland and Westchester county district attorneys’ offices are among 29 in the state that are receiving state grants to buy or upgrade video-recording equipment for more than 150 agencies, including police departments and sheriffs’ offices, Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced this morning. The practice of video recording interrogations helps enhance the criminal justice system’s fairness and effectiveness.
Of the $700,000 grant total, Rockland is getting $23,596 for the Haverstraw, Orangetown, Ramapo, Stony Point and Suffern police departments, and Westchester is receiving $32,920 for the Ardsley, Briarcliff Manor, Buchanan, Hastings-on-Hudson, Irvington, Larchmont, Mamaroneck, Pelham Manor, Rye City and Rye Brook police departments.
Of the 150 agencies, 55 are receiving grants from the state for the first time, including the Suffern, Ardsley, Briarcliff Manor, Buchanan, Hastings-on-Hudson, Irvington, Larchmont, Mamaroneck, Pelham Manor, Rye City and Rye Brook police departments.
“With these grants, New York State is giving local law enforcement the resources they need to enhance the integrity, fairness and effectiveness of our criminal justice system,” Cuomo said in a statement. “The practice of video recording interrogations helps prevent wrongful convictions and at the same time, protects investigators from false allegations. These grants will provide an important and recognized tool to law enforcement agencies that will help better protect our communities.”
The state has awarded more than $3 million to local law enforcement agencies for video recording since it started giving out the grants in 2006.
“Audio and video recording of interviews of suspects on serious cases is a powerful tool to help hold those who commit serious crimes responsible for their conduct and at the same time help prevent wrongful convictions,” Michael Green, executive deputy commissioner of the state Department of Criminal Justice Services, said in a statement.
District attorneys must work with local agencies to develop protocols for video recording that detail the types of crimes alleged that would require recording of interviews, among other provisions.