CLIFTON PARK, N.Y. – The Saratoga County Sheriff’s deputies could be the next law enforcement agency in the Capital Region to wear body cameras.
Body cameras are a tiny piece of equipment that can record a lot of information from the police officers’ perspective. The topic was discussed on Tuesday at the Saratoga County Public Safety Committee meeting.
“Just the evolution of technology; police officers are being taped every day,” Clifton Park Town Supervisor Phil Barrett said.
Recently, a video went viral that showed an incident involving Saratoga County Deputy Officer Shawn Glans. Saratoga Count Sheriff Michael Zurlo said he’s been looking into body cameras well before that incident.
But local and national stories have brought the need for accountability to the forefront.
“We’re gonna move forward, and hopefully this new technology if we decide to get it in the next year or so, will benefit members of the department,” Zurlo said.
“Handling policies and procedures once data is collected – that’s a big question I don’t have the answer to right now,” Barrett said.
The subcommittee was formed on Tuesday and will be tasked with researching. Currently, the Saratoga Springs police are the only officers in the area that have donned body cameras.
“Doesn’t eliminate the need for good police investigation or for officers to behave properly,” Saratoga Springs Chief Greg Veitch said. “But watching some of those videos to be, it was clear it wasn’t always depicting the officer in the full light of what happened.”
Veitch said the department had to consider a lot before equipping the officers with the cameras.
“Biggest concern we have is protecting people’s privacy,” he said. “Those videos show an awful lot of people who have nothing to do with what’s going on.”
Those are issues the subcommittee will also discuss.
“It’s the amount of data that we’re storing,” Zurlo said. “We have 115 officers here, so if we’re gonna equip each officer, we’ll just have to take it piece by piece and look at every aspect.”
Barrett is not putting a time line on when the subcommittee will go through with any decisions. He said it’s a matter of researching the topic as thoroughly as possible.