(4 PM) Carroll Police Department To Purchase Body Cameras

A body camera worn by Chautauqua County sheriff's deputies. The same model will be purchased for officers of the Carroll Police Department. Submitted photo

FREWSBURG — Carroll Police Chief Bill Nelson shared his idea to use stop DWI money to pay for body cameras for the town’s police officers with the Carroll Town Board at Wednesday’s meeting.

The board members in attendance agreed with the idea and passed the proposal unanimously.

Nelson called body cameras a necessary tool for law enforcement agencies in the present day and said $1,980 would cover the cost of four cameras for the department. Stop DWI money already collected will cover the cost, and since Nelson said all DWI arrests in Carroll result in collected fines that are supposed to enhance the enforcement of local police, he said the purchasing of cameras with $1,940 of stop DWI money would be fitting.

“I look at this as enforcement,” Nelson said. “It’s the same camera that’s used by the Sheriff’s Office and the town of Ellicott. I have all that technical support. I just think now’s the time to do that.”

Nelson continued by saying that body cameras do a great deal of good for departments by providing records of arrests and evidence for court proceedings. The Carroll police chief thinks that every department will eventually have body cameras and that they’ll be an asset to the protection of the town.

On top of the Chautauqua County Sheriff’s Office and Ellicott police forces equipping officers with body cameras, the Jamestown Police Department and Lakewood-Busti Police Department have also been using the technology in the Southern Tier.

Nelson also brought up the idea to introduce a warning ticket system for drivers in the town. He said officers currently issue universal traffic tickets for all infractions and that officers could choose to issue a warning ticket for a first offense. Nelson explained that he doesn’t want to penalize good drivers who might make one mistake. After drivers receive a warning ticket, they would be entered into the system and would therefore be ineligible to receive just a warning on repeat offenses.

See Friday’s edition of The Post-Journal for more coverage.