Ithaca, N.Y. — A proposal to have Ithaca police wear body cameras is moving forward with the support of the city’s Community Police Board.

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“Everyone seems on board,” said E. Alex Brower, a member of the community police board, after its meeting on Wednesday. “I think it’s absolutely wonderful and long overdue.”

The idea to put body cameras on Ithaca’s cops came out of a set of proposals from Mayor Svante Myrick after a controversial incident involving an Ithaca police sergeant in August.

An anonymous donor agreed to pay for 15-20 of the cameras, Mayor Myrick said in August. Brower, of the community police board, said private donations will cover the cost of purchasing the cameras — though some questions remain.

“Since we don’t know exactly what the recurring fees are, we dont know if the private donations will take care of that as well,” Brower said, “but those are all questions that will be addressed as we move along.”

Brower said there’s no set timeline for the implementation of the cameras, but that he’s optimistic they will become a reality. “The police, their union and the board are all very much in favor as far as we know,” he said. Brower said the police are currently talking to different vendors about the purchases.

Shirley Kane, another member of the community police board, agreed that the proposal is moving forward but noted that there are a few important logistical questions that remain unresolved.

In particular, Kane said she hopes the community police board is involved with the creation of a policy for the cameras’ use. She also said she hopes that the data acquired from the cameras is stored externally, at an outside contractor, rather than kept by the Ithaca Police Department.


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Jeff Stein

Jeff Stein is the founder and former editor of the Ithaca Voice.