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Cyberattack delays full implementation of Suffolk County police body cameras

Taser International is now selling police departments the technology to store videos from body cameras.
Patrick T. Fallon
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Bloomberg via Getty Images
Taser International is now selling police departments the technology to store videos from body cameras.

Suffolk County’s plan to outfit police officers with body cameras was halted because of the cybersecurity intrusion, according to a lawyer in Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone’s office. The statement came in the form of a status update to a number of WSHU’s freedom of information requests.

When asked, the police department said the full implementation of the body camera program would be complete in early spring, roughly four months later than expected prior to the hack.

In June, Bellone announced that 1,600 officers would be equipped by the end of the year.

“The second deployment of cameras is expected to roll out at the end of the summer,” Bellone said.

However, that second deployment has yet to happen. A police department spokesperson wrote in an email that the second wave of 500 officers in the highway patrol and first and fifth precincts "will begin to go live with body-worn cameras in early December."

The hack into Suffolk’s computer systems has debilitated the county government for three months. Email, phones, payment processing, voting, real estate transactions, nearly everything has been impacted.

Yet, little is known about the full extent of the breach. County lawmakers have announced a full investigation with subpoena power if necessary.

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.