Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2021, $120,000)
Auburn, NY Police Department BWC
Opportunity Number: O-BJA-2021-131001
The City of Auburn, NY Police Department (ADP) is a municipal law enforcement agency with 67 full-time sworn officers proposing to acquire Body-Worn Cameras (BWCs) for 60 officers (patrol officers and first-line supervisors) for a total grant assistance amount of $120,000. APD and the City of Auburn have made community policing a priority of which the application of Body-Worn Cameras (BWC) and establishing a policy and implementation program is a key component. There is broad-based community support for this BWC initiative as well as from Cayuga County’s criminal justice stakeholders. APD’s goals are to implement BWCs as a tool that supports local efforts to improve law enforcement interactions with the public as well as strengthen accountability, transparency and assistance in deescalating conflicts.
Currently the APD does not have a specialized unit dedicated to BWC technology and the management of digital evidence media (DEM). However there is demonstrated need in the community for establishing a BWC program. The City APD has been responding to an upward shift in crime rates in upstate New York. Over the period of 2013 to 2017, APD had a 51% increase in reported violent crimes, and a 77% increase in reported assaults. As a result, in 2015 the City of Auburn was ranked 17th of the 20th most dangerous places in upstate New York according to FBI crime data.
Although an inherently safe community, the City struggles with economic distress since 19% of the population lives below the poverty level. The City is requesting priority consideration as a “High-Poverty Area” since the 2013-2017 ACS Census data indicates two (2) Census Tracts# 413 and 421 with a poverty rate of greater than 20 percent. Also in 2018, the City of Auburn’s northwest quadrant was federally designated a Qualified Opportunity Zone (QOZ). The City APD will work cooperatively with the community and criminal justice stakeholders to enhance public safety in these census tracts and specified QOZ.