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Cooperstown (New York) Police Department Transparency and Accountability Initiative

Award Information

Award #
15PBJA-21-GG-04466-BWCX
Location
Awardee County
Otsego
Congressional District
Status
Open
Funding First Awarded
2022
Total funding (to date)
$14,000

Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2022, $14,000)

In February 2021, the Village of Cooperstown adopted a Police Reform Plan, including six pillars: Building Trust and Legitimacy, Community Policing, Policy and Oversight, Technology and Social Media, Training and Education, and Officer Wellness and Safety. This application is to fund body-worn cameras and other related activities, which while specifically addressed as an action item in Pillar Four: Technology and Social Media, will serve to support all parts of the reform plan.

The Village of Cooperstown is a small community known nationally and internationally as the site of the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum and regionally as the headquarters of Bassett Healthcare, an integrated health care system that provides care and services to people living in an eight-county region through a network of community and school-based health centers and six hospitals. Mental health services are primarily provided at the main campus in Cooperstown. 

As a village, rather than a city or county, Cooperstown is unusual in New York State in its dedication to providing local policing. The Cooperstown Police Department includes three full-time officers, a part-time chief of police, and three part-time officers. Police department expenditures typically account for almost $400,000 of a $3.4 million total municipal budget.  Law enforcement officers provide year-round coverage during the busy summer tourist season as well as during the slower winter months. Their work is complemented by partners from the Otsego County Sheriff’s Department and the New York State Troopers, but for most residents and tourists in Cooperstown the CPD is the first line of contact with law enforcement.
This proposal is being offered in the continued spirit of building trust between law enforcement and the community in the Village of Cooperstown. It will benefit officers, residents, business owners, and visitors to the area. Implementing a body-worn camera program is a critical step in ensuring transparency and accountability for all parties involved in interactions with the local police. It mirrors practices already utilized by the Otsego County Sheriff's Department and the New York State Troopers. In our small department, body-worn cameras will additionally allow for further training in more effective and equitable policing practices.

Date Created: December 20, 2021