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Niagara Falls police to wear body cameras

Mike Desmond/wbfo news

Late in January, patrol police officers in the city of Niagara Falls should be wearing cameras on the streets, after the City Council voted Monday night to buy 48 of the cameras.

As with so many departments, the Cataract City force had been looking at using the cameras and had tested them on some officers. Now, all patrol officers and most detectives will wear the cameras when on duty.

Chief Bryan DalPorto said they are being purchased under a state contract so the $22,000 purchase order will go right in and the cameras will come back.

Council Chairman Charles Walker voted for the purchase and says the cameras are good for police and citizens.

"We've some great officers and so, I think this is something that will help both them and the community when there are different complaints and different issues that come up because some times things happen so fast that we may make a mistake," Walker said. 

"So, if we make a mistake and we want to correct that mistake and fix it and make it right, this gives us the opportunity to do that."

DalPorto said the cameras can't be turned off during a work shift and can only be downloaded by command officers. They will be downloaded when being re-charged. The chief says they replace the microphones officers wear so they won't be carrying more gear.

Mike Desmond is one of Western New York’s most experienced reporters, having spent nearly a half-century covering the region for newspapers, television stations and public radio. He has been with WBFO and its predecessor, WNED-AM, since 1988. As a reporter for WBFO, he has covered literally thousands of stories involving education, science, business, the environment and many other issues. Mike has been a long-time theater reviewer for a variety of publications and was formerly a part-time reporter for The New York Times.