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Suffolk will pay police $3,000 a year to wear body cameras

Police Body Camera
Ross D. Franklin

Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone announced an agreement with the Police Benevolent Association that will pay police a $3,000 annual stipend to wear body cameras.

The body camera deal is part of a larger unveiling of state-mandated police reform steps that include the hiring of civilian investigators to coordinate with police internal affairs department, a mental behavioral health unit within the police department and civilian employees to work the front desk of precincts.

Bellone said 1,600 officers will begin wearing body cameras starting in early next year.

“It took eight months of hard work of listening to one another and coming together to make these reforms a reality,” he said. “At my core, I believe that public safety and justice go hand in hand.”

Officials have not yet released the policy dictating when officers can deactivate the cameras. However, they have said in the past that the policy will likely allow special exceptions.

The body camera equipment and storage will cost about $24 million over five years. Officials said the $3,000 annual stipend per officer will be phased in over three years.

Charles is senior reporter focusing on special projects. He has won numerous awards including an IRE award, three SPJ Public Service Awards, and a National Murrow. He was also a finalist for the Livingston Award for Young Journalists and Third Coast Director’s Choice Award.