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December 3, 2013

Police, deputies receive state grants

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The Daily Star

---- — Two local law enforcement agencies are among 150 statewide receiving state grants enabling them to conduct video recordings of interrogations. 

The grants were announced by Gov. Andrew Cuomo, who said the state will provide nearly $700,000 in grants for agencies to either purchase or upgrade equipment for video recording — a practice, the release said, which is “widely recognized as enhancing the fairness and effectiveness of the criminal justice system.”

The Schoharie County District Attorney’s Office will receive $8,724 through the program for the Cobleskill Police Department and Schoharie County Sheriff’s Office. The release did not say whether these agencies are already using video recording for interrogations. 

“With these grants, New York state is giving local law enforcement the resources they need to enhance the integrity, fairness and effectiveness of our criminal justice system,” Cuomo said in the release. “The practice of video recording interrogations helps prevent wrongful convictions and at the same time, protects investigators from false allegations. These grants will provide an important and recognized tool to law enforcement agencies that will help better protect our communities.”

According to the release, the grants will ensure that video recording technology will now be available to 80 percent of the law enforcement agencies in the state. 

New York state has invested more than $3 million to allow law enforcement agencies to purchase and install video recording equipment since the first grants were awarded in 2006. The grants will be administered by the state Division of Criminal Justice Services.