Ns News Online Desk: Nassau County will finally roll out body-worn cameras to its police force — the 13th largest department in the country — by year’s end after delays due to union objections over the program.
Nassau County Executive Laura Curran said Thursday cops wearing the added gear should expect to get $3,000 extra per year and the department should have the 2,500 cameras up and running over the next few months.
A spokesperson for Curran clarified later that the county has agreed to terms for a body-worn camera bonus with the police supervisors’ union but contract negotiations with the larger union, the Nassau County PBA, were still in the works.
“Our goal is to build trust with the communities we serve and body-worn cameras help build that trust,” Curran said, as she defended the added pay as being in line with other programs around the country.
The cameras and storage, purchased from Ronkonkoma company Island Tech Services, are expected to cost roughly $5 million, according to officials.
The Nassau County Police Department, which employs 2,400 officers, had multiple pilot body-camera programs but the technology was never rolled out to the full force.
Nassau County Executive Laura Curran announced officers will be paid an extra $3,00 while introducing a state-of-the-art body worn camera.The Nassau County PBA objected to the first pilot back in 2015, according to reports at the time, and has been in contentious contract negotiations since last year over the extra pay.
Police Commissioner Patrick Ryder said the pilots were scrapped due to their cost. But he added “you always reevaluate,” saying the technology was a priority for Curran.
The added pay for cops is expected to cost the county roughly the same price as the rollout, around $5 million, with all of the department’s patrol officers wearing the gear, according to a Newsday analysis. The PBA shot down a police contract with the added pay in December, reports say.
The NYPD started equipping cops with body-worn cameras back in 2017.