Suffolk County passes police reforms, including widespread use of body cameras for more than half of a 2,400-strong force – CBS New York

Riverhead, New York (CBS New York) – Change is coming to Suffolk County Police Department.

The Police reform The plan sparked by the Black Lives Matter movement ordered the state to kill George Floyd. it takes Suffolk County Eight long months of working back and forth with police unions and community members in order to finally get it passed.

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“This has not been an easy process,” said Steve Belloni, Suffolk County Executive.

The task force eventually adopted the extensive use of police body cameras starting next year, so far, for about half of its 2,400-strong force.

We will now deploy body cameras for 1,600 officers. “Every officer who wears a camera on his body will get a salary of $3,000,” Belloni said.

Sixteen hundred union members will be paid $3000 annually to wear body cameras, which amounts to nearly $5 million annually.

The agreement will also enhance police training in mental health crises and create more civilian oversight for police officers.

Will body cameras help reform a department that struggled to recruit minorities and one that has been criticized for corruption and abuse?

Noel DeGirolamo is the president of the Suffolk County Police Benevolent Association.

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“Now you’ll get the officer’s perspective of what they’re seeing, because the camera is the officer, and you’ll see what they’re facing,” he said.

Some activists have argued that reforms are necessary to move forward.

“These are small steps … Suffolk County has a statistical history showing that there are racial disparities at every level, from employment to parking,” said rights activist Fred Broington.

Lawmaker Sam Gonzalez now believes the plans can work.

“As many know I was, early on, a no-vote when this reform came,” he said. “But we connect a lot with all of our Latin American and African American community.”

One said, “I definitely trust the police with a body camera.”

“A body camera can help. Another person said.

Another person said, “We must have faith and hope.”

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The county will spend $24 million on the body camera program.

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