Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2021, $27,399)
The University Police Department (UPD) of SUNY Geneseo is committed to efforts to increase transparency and accountability, including revising department policy and practice, review of police use of force incidents, and adding select policies onto the department web page for public view. The introduction of police body worn cameras represents the next step in that progression. The ability to quickly review and share video of incidents that occur within our geographical area of employment (grounds owned, leased or adjacent to the SUNY Geneseo campus) will help to build new levels of trust between UPD and the campus community. SUNY Geneseo’s campus is immediately adjacent to the village of Geneseo, NY’s Main St. business district, so this population includes 4,893 students, 876 faculty/staff members, and hundreds of residents and business owners in adjacent properties.
Body worn cameras (BWCs) are currently used by five SUNY campuses and the NYS University Police Commissioner’s Office has worked on preferred pricing. Ten other SUNY campuses have expressed interest in purchasing BWCs as well. Significantly, the Commissioner’s Office is developing a SUNY-wide camera policy based on the NYSP policy, which has the approval of the Governor’s Office of Employee Relations. The SUNY-wide policy is expected to greatly reduce or eliminate the impact of labor related grievances that have been associated with BWC program implementation at other SUNY campuses.
SUNY Geneseo’s UPD will purchase 15 BWCs. Each of the uniformed members of our department (10 Officers and 4 Lieutenants) will have their own camera and one will be shared between the command staff (Inspector, Assistant Chief, and Chief). Additional purchase items include 2 8-bay docks, 5 signal units, 5 signal connected battery packs, 14 signal sidearm kits, 28 signal sidearm batteries, and other ancillary items. We are seeking partial support for the first three years of the contract ($54,799 total costs).
As the policy preparation is underway and system specifications/preferred requirements have been determined, it is anticipated that the technology would be introduced during the 2020-21 winter break. The Chief of Police, or their designee, will consult with the assigned technical and training assistance (TTA) provider on a monthly basis to address progress, finalize and evaluate the statewide BWC policy for certification, procure BWCs and other associated equipment through prescribed guidelines and take part in an exit conference and final report to our TTA provider.