New Laws Will Help Promote Accountability and Improve Transparency in Law Enforcement
Governor Andrew M. Cuomo Tuesday signed legislation requiring all New York State Police officers to wear body cameras while on patrol (S.8493/A.8674); and creating the Law Enforcement Misconduct Investigative Office (S.3595-C/A.10002).
“The relationship between law enforcement and the communities they serve isn’t working,” Governor Cuomo said. “New York is the progressive capital of the nation, and we are leading the way by enacting real reforms to increase transparency in policing, promote accountability among our law enforcement agencies and ultimately mend that frayed relationship between the police and the community.”
Requiring Use of Body Cameras (S.8493/A.8674)
This new law requires all New York State Police patrol officers to use body-worn cameras while on patrol to record immediately before an officer exits a patrol vehicle to interact with a person or situation; all uses of force; all arrests and summonses; all interactions with individuals suspected of criminal activity; all searches of persons and property; any call to a crime in progress; investigative actions involving interactions with members of the public; any interaction with an emotionally disturbed person; and any instances where an officer feels any imminent danger or the need to document their time on duty. The law also requires law enforcement to keep video records of all these interactions.
Senator Kevin Parker said, “Too often injustices go unseen and police officers feel emboldened to act as judge & jury. Body cameras will diminish the trust deficit between the police and communities they serve. Thank you to the Governor for signing this critical legislation into law.”
Assembly Member Latrice Walker said, “As one of the largest state police agencies in the country, the New York State Police should be one of the first agencies to set an example, to show others how to properly use body cams to deliver transparency and accountability to the public. This legislation will help bring to light when excessive force is used, and hopefully ultimately reduce the number of “use of force” incidents and take a critical first step in repairing the trust between law enforcement and the communities they serve.”