Registered Agency Spotlight: Cuba New York Police Department

Cuba NY PD Body Camera Donations patchRegistered Agency Spotlight: Cuba New York Police Department

Agency Donation Effort Contact: Chief Dustin Burch

Link: Department Website

Number of officers: 18

Body Camera Goal: 18 (This department needs $4,950 to reach its goal)

Click here to donate to this department

Why has your Agency decided to start a body camera program?
Chief Burch: Like many police departments today we see what’s going on with social media and cell phone video taken out of context… so want to safeguard our officers and safeguard the public. It works both ways, our supervisors are not always with our officers, and we know there are times when people and officers don’t do the right thing… so we want to be able to capture video to protect both the public and our officers against any misconduct or cases of false allegations.

How do you believe a body camera program will benefit your officers, department and the community? 
Chief Burch: We are using two body cameras right now but we don’t have enough for all of our officers, so we know they’re beneficial. We’ve had a few complaints filed since we started using them and in 99% of the cases, when we’ve sat down and reviewed the body camera video footage with the complainant and the officer, it turns out to be false. And if the opposite was true and our officer did do something wrong, I’d be able to address it immediately and take disciplinary action. So it protects both the officer and citizens.

Are there any situations where having body camera video evidence would have made a difference in court cases or complaints against your officers?
Chief Burch: We had one case since we started using body cameras where we had the theft of an expensive watch and about $12K worth of jewelry stolen and our officer was able to get a full confession from the person that took it on body camera and that confession was used in court and was the key to solving the whole case… so there’s an example of where a body camera made a significant difference.

Does your department have guidelines for a body camera policy? If so, what would the policy be? When would officers be required to record, etc.?
Chief Burch: We have a full body camera policy in place.