Manlius Police officers to be outfitted with body-worn cameras

Taser AXON camera

Officers in the Manlius Police Department will soon be outfitted with cameras that will be mounted on their uniforms.

The department conducted a field study of the body-worn cameras, where the small camera gets a first person view of everything the officer encounters.

The Manlius Police Department says that the technology will enhance officer safety, reduce liability, assist prosecution and case resolution as well as further promote professionalism and accountability.

Officer Ben Kapusta says they're meant to hold officers and citizens accountable.

"The officers at all times need to be accountable for their actions and how we deal and interact with the public, as well as citizens, they need to be held accountable for their actions as well whenever we're dealing with them," says Kapusta.

T he cameras are used by several other police departments in larger cities across the country. Some studies say they've led to a 60% reduction in the use of force.

The use of force is in the spotlight after some officers in New York City were placed on leave after they applied a deadly chokehold on a 43-year-old man accused of selling cigarettes illegally and it was all captured on cell phone video.

Even though cell phones always seem to be there when you need them, Officer Kapusta says that footage can be manipulated.

"The person can chose when to turn it on and when not to, choose to only show certain sections of it. With us wearing these cameras now it's from a first person point of view. It's from my perspective so it's going to offer the entire truth of the entire incident at hand," says Kapusta.

TaserĂ¢??s AXON body camera was chosen based on its durability and wide-angle lens.

The department says hopes to implement the cameras by the end of the year.

The Syracuse Police Department says they're not currently looking into acquiring the body worn cameras because they're too expensive. The camera itself costs $299 and the charging dock costs $600. The Manlius Police Department paid for their cameras with a grant.

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