MINEOLA, N.Y. – Nassau County District Attorney Kathleen Rice and the Freeport Police Department today announced funding to equip patrol officers and supervisors with in-car video systems and body cameras.
DA Rice’s office will provide $108,000 in Asset Forfeiture funding to expand, to a department-wide level, the Freeport Police Department’s existing pilot program featuring in-car and body-worn video camera systems. The equipment will help keep officers safe, provide valuable evidence for prosecutors, and protect citizens.
“The use of these cameras will enhance the Freeport Police Department’s crime-fighting efforts, help protect the citizens they serve, and aid in DA office investigations and prosecutions” DA Rice said. “This collaboration will help the people of Freeport and the hard-working officers and prosecutors who serve and protect them every day.”
“These cameras have proven to be an extremely beneficial tool in fighting crime, providing better policing and supporting crime victims,” said Freeport Police Department Chief Miguel Bermudez. “The Freeport Police Department is appreciative of Nassau County District Attorney Rice’s efforts in providing funding to enhance and expand the use of mobile and body-worn video cameras.”
The funds will be used to purchase 30 additional body cameras – cigar-shaped devices that are visibly worn under an officer’s epaulet at shoulder level – and 11 additional in-car video systems. The Freeport Police Department currently has four body cameras as part of a pilot program launched in January 2014, as well as eight in-car video systems.
DA Rice said that encounters captured on video can provide critical evidence of criminal behavior and help protect citizens. The cameras will also aid prosecutors by providing valuable evidence at trial.
According to Chief Bermudez, some of the benefits of mobile and body-worn cameras are:
Recording victims’ injuries and statementsDocumenting defendants’ actions at time of arrestEvidence gathering at crime scenesAllowing juries to see and hear an event from the officer’s perspective at the sceneReducing false complaints against police officers