(BINGHAMTON, N.Y.) — Mayor Richard C. David today announced the roll out of two public safety initiatives — new patrol car cameras and data collection software — aimed to improve transparency, enhance police data and build community trust.
“With the addition of patrol car cameras and enhanced data collection efforts, our police department is well-suited to engage in 21st Century policing — protection for the officers, residents and the City,” said Mayor David. “These technological improvements represent significant investments in public safety as Binghamton leads the pack statewide in proactive, community-focused policing.”
In Aug. 2015, Mayor David signed an Executive Order formalizing policies to improve police/community relations and build trust with residents. The patrol car cameras and enhanced data collection add to ongoing efforts, including body-worn cameras, improving diversity and use of force training, and minority recruitment by the department.
In announcing these final two projects, Mayor David has implemented each initiative outlined in his Executive Order.
Enhanced Data Collection
For each traffic stop, Binghamton Police officers complete a form, called a 7010-Z, detailing the driver's perceived race or ethnicity and reason for stop. Previously, the forms were filled out by hand and required time-intensive efforts to effectively analyze the data.
In a partnership with Broome County's Information Technology Department, the City of Binghamton has digitized this traffic stop form and made it available in all patrol car computers.
“This new technology will result in near perfect compliance for all traffic stops,” said Chief Joseph T. Zikuski. “Officers have the tools at their fingertips to input traffic stop information, saving time and improving data accuracy.”
Data from the new forms will be compiled and published in the Binghamton Police Department's 2017 annual report.
Patrol Car Cameras
The City will install two cameras each in 20 patrol vehicles, one facing toward the road and one capturing the back seat. The cameras feature a 143-degree lens and low light capabilities. The cost of the 40 patrol car cameras, 5-year equipment warranty and 5-year unlimited data storage plan is $47,380, supplied by Taser International.
The first two of 20 patrol vehicles have cameras installed.
The initiative is funded through a $37,701 Division of Criminal Justice Services Legislative grant and $9,679 from the Binghamton Police Department’s 2016 operating budget.
Binghamton is one of the first U.S. law enforcement agencies to utilize Taser International’s new patrol car camera system. Before this initiative, the City only utilized one patrol car camera in its DWI enforcement vehicle.
In Dec. 2015, Mayor David announced the roll out of 90 body-worn cameras, now utilized by each Binghamton Police officer on the street.
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