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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.

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