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Erie County Legislature approves 5-year body camera program for Sheriff's Office

Avery Schneider
An Axon Enterprises body camera worn by an Erie County Sheriff's deputy.

The Erie County Legislature has unanimously approved a five-year body camera program for the Erie County Sheriff's Office. Nearly $1.7 million in funding have been approved for the five-year period, which includes the purchase of 209 body cameras from Axon.

“I am glad my colleagues and I have worked with the sheriff’s office to make body cameras a priority," said Legislator John Mills. "This is an agreement that will increase safety among employees within the Sheriff’s Office and members of the public.”

Although Sheriff's deputies wore body cameras in a trial program, Erie County Legislative Chair April Baskin had been critical of Sheriff Tim Howard for not making body cameras for all deputies a priority.

“The sheriff has been over to the Legislature multiple times to talk about body cameras and he’s over-communicated that they are not a priority,” Baskin said in July.

The discussions among lawmakers have been ongoing for several months before Thursday's legislation was approved.

Mark Wozniak, WBFO's local All Things Considered host, has been at WBFO since mid-1978.
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