Albany, NY - October 24, 2016 - Governor Andrew M. Cuomo and Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus R. Vance Jr. today announced that 20 law enforcement agencies will receive a total of $508,492 to purchase equipment enabling them to video record criminal interrogations. Half of the funding will be provided by District Attorney Vance's Office from criminal asset forfeiture funds obtained through settlements with international banks for violating U.S. sanctions. Funding will be matched by federal funds administered by the New York State Division of Criminal Justice Services.
"This equipment will aid law enforcement agencies across New York in helping to ensure justice is served, the rights of individuals are preserved and officers are protected," Governor Cuomo said. "Through this collaborative effort we are taking action to increase confidence in the criminal justice system and making this a more fair New York for all."
Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus R. Vance Jr. said, "We are excited to use criminal forfeiture funds seized through my Office's financial crime prosecutions to help equip our law enforcement partners across New York State. Recording interrogations enhances integrity, fairness, and effectiveness in the criminal justice system – which is why stakeholders ranging from police groups to the Innocence Project have endorsed its expanded use. I thank Governor Cuomo and our friends at DCJS for their collaboration and commitment to investing in New York’s public safety infrastructure."
Police departments, sheriff and district attorney's offices will use the grants to purchase and install video recording equipment for the first time, increase the number of rooms available to record statements at an agency, and add data storage capacity for existing equipment. With this funding, New York State has provided more than $3.5 million to police and prosecutors to support video recording, which is widely recognized as improving the fairness and effectiveness of the criminal justice system.
DCJS Executive Deputy Commissioner and former Monroe County District Attorney Michael C. Green said, "Clear video footage taken during an interrogation can help prevent a wrongful conviction or protect investigators from false accusations. These grants will enhance law enforcement's ability to solve crimes, but also prevent wrongful convictions and protect departments from the frivolous civil law suits that arise from unfounded claims of misconduct."
Priority was given to agencies that did not apply for, or receive funding in 2013, the last time grants were available. Eligible agencies included all police departments, sheriff’s offices and district attorney’s offices located outside of New York City. All 62 counties in New York have at least one law enforcement agency with the technology to video record interrogation interviews.
The following agencies will receive grants:
- Long Beach Police Department: $9,169
- Nassau County Police Department: $205,233
- Clarkstown Police Department: $23,252
- Carmel Police Department: $4,849
- Mount Vernon Police Department: $19,973
- White Plains Department of Public Safety: $1,627
- Orange County District Attorney’s Office: $50,967
- Poughkeepsie (Town) Police Department: $9,744
- Saugerties Police Department: $5,097
- Chester (Town) Police Department: $15,384
- Troy Police Department: $11,160
- Warren County Sheriff’s Office: $4,994
Central New York
- Madison County Sheriff’s Office: $12,736
- Cayuga County District Attorney’s Office: $5,204
- Rochester Police Department: $55,751
Western New York
- Buffalo Police Department: $22,811
- Tonawanda Police Department: $8,870
- Wyoming County District Attorney’s Office: $24,677
- Allegany County District Attorney’s Office: $12,000
- Blasdell Police Department: $4,994