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Niagara Falls Police to get body cameras

Posted at 8:33 PM, Dec 22, 2014
and last updated 2015-12-17 20:33:22-05

From Ferguson, MO to Staten Island, NY and even here in Buffalo, the issue of trust between the public and the police force takes center-stage in America.

Tuesday evening, a decision aimed at bridging the gap and fostering transparency was made in the City of Niagara Falls.

City council unanimously approved $22,500 in funding from casino revenue for the police department to purchase 48 body cameras.

"It will provide an accurate record of the events whether it's a traffic stop or something more serious," said Chief Bryan DalPorto. "It will provide an independent accurate record of exactly what happened at any given call."

The cameras shoot high resolution video and audio, can take still pictures and have a night vision feature.

And when it comes to reviewing the video, there is no delete button. The files can only be downloaded by police administration.

"There may be a few bad cops but most cops aren't bad and I think that we owe it to the police department to stand by them and give them the equipment they need to do their job," said council member Kristen Grandinetti.

"The community, when they feel that officers didn't do the right thing, they didn't get the treatment that they expected, now there's going to be a record we can go back and look at," said Mayor Paul Dyster.

The cameras should be purchased and in use by the end of January.

The Niagara Falls Police Department is not the only force in the area to use the cameras; the NFTA also employs the devices.