Are Erie County deputies closer to wearing body cameras?

Posted at 5:39 PM, Oct 11, 2017

You might soon notice something different about Erie County sheriff's deputies. 15 will be equipped with new body cameras for the next 60 days.

Mike Sluberski is one of them. He knows why he became a sheriff's deputy. “I just like helping the public.” He thinks he'll be better equipped to do that wearing a body camera. “It just eliminates guesswork, or the doubt.”

All are getting trained on how the equipment works at the Erie County Training Facility in Cheektowaga.

Sheriff Tim Howard is up for re-election in November. His challenger, democrat Bernie Tolbert, called the timing of the trial curious.  “I would question why we're doing it now. But, the good thing is if we're going to have them, they'll serve that useful purpose.”

Still, Howard insisted this body camera trial has nothing to do with his campaign.
“Election cycles are every four years. We're doing something new all the time. We weren't the first to jump at this. We recognized from the beginning that there were problems.”

Those problems include how long the data would be stored and who would keep track of it.

Deputies like Mike Sluberski hope those details can be worked out. He believes body cameras would only improve public safety. “It does help. It's another tool in the tool kit.”