FREEPORT - As the unrest in Ferguson puts the spotlight on police-civilian confrontations, News 12 Long Island is examining how body cameras are starting to be utilized in Nassau County.
Officers in the Freeport Police Department have been using the cameras since the beginning of the year. So far, the department has four.
“They turn the cameras on whenever they’re on a traffic stop or at any time they are interacting with the public,” says Sgt. Kevin Edell, of the Freeport Police Department. “It’s been excellent, to be honest with you. Some of the video we captured during traffic stops has shown that it’s very valuable.”
In June, Nassau County gave the department money seized from criminals to purchase 30 more body cameras and in-car video systems.
The Nassau Police Department has announced it will try the body cameras by the end of the year as part of a pilot program. Nassau's PBA president says he'll work closely with the department to develop policy.
The Nassau chapter of the NYCLU supports the countywide implementation of the cameras.
“There's the potential for a win-win,” says Jason Starr, of the NYCLU. “For the public to have record of police interaction, and certainly for police to reduce the instances of accusations of false misconduct.”
The Suffolk Police Department has no plans to try out the body cameras.