Suffolk PD applies for $20M body camera grant

The use of body cameras has spread nationwide after several controversial deaths involving unarmed civilians and police officers. They include the death of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri, the death of Eric Garner on Staten Island and the most recent death of Freddie Gray in Baltimore.

The use of body cameras has spread nationwide after several controversial deaths involving unarmed civilians and police officers. They include the death of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri, the death of Eric Garner on Staten Island and the most recent death of Freddie Gray in Baltimore. (7/16/15)

SMITHTOWN - The Suffolk County Police Department is applying for part of a $20 million federal grant to equip its officers with the body cameras.

The use of body cameras has spread nationwide after several controversial deaths involving unarmed civilians and police officers. They include the death of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri, the death of Eric Garner on Staten Island and the most recent death of Freddie Gray in Baltimore.

The aim behind the body camera program is to have a record of what exactly has occurred during arrests and traffic stops.

Body cameras are already being used by officers in the Freeport Police Department to record their encounters with the public.

Suffolk Legislator Kate Browning, a member of the Public Safety Committee, says there are a lot of privacy and security questions that need to be answered before the pilot program begins. She says she would like to know what happens to the footage and who gets to view it.

News 12 Long Island requested an interview with the Suffolk police commissioner or another officer, but were told no one was available for comment.

Next month, Nassau County will begin outfitting officers from the First, Third and Fifth precincts with body cameras during a yearlong test period.

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