Funds will assist with the purchase of body cameras
Congressman Brian Higgins and City of Niagara Falls Mayor Paul Dyster joined Niagara Falls Police Chief Bryan DalPorto to announce a federal grant totaling $45,666 for the City of Niagara Falls from the United States Department of Justice.
The federal grant will support the purchase new body-worn cameras to continue efforts to equip the entire patrol division with cameras. In December, the City of Niagara Falls authorized funding for 40 cameras, which are currently in use. The remaining funds provided through the federal grant will be used to support personnel costs.
"Body cameras use today's technology to provide a new level of transparency between the community and those who work every day to protect the community," Higgins said. "I applaud the City of Niagara Falls for being an outlier as one of the first police departments in the region to actively equip officers with body cameras."
"Niagara Falls has seen a consistent decline in violent crime, to the tune of 5 percent in 2013, 4 percent in 2014 and 6 percent to date in 2015," Dyster said. "This reduction is directly linked to the hard work and professionalism of your men and women in uniform. This Byrne grant secured by Congressman Higgins will help protect our officers and residents by outfitting each on-duty officer with a body camera, an important part of today's law enforcement tool kit."
More than 150 officers make up the City of Niagara Falls Police Department. In 2014, the department responded to more than 56,000 calls.
DalPorto added, "The Niagara Falls Police Department is proud to be at the cutting edge of 21st century policing. Body cameras will provide officers and citizens an accurate and complete account of events during police encounters. Hats off to the professionalism of the officers of the NFPD for embracing this transformational change to law enforcement."
The federal grant is provided through the Edward Byrne Memorial Justice Assistance Grant Program. The JAG program provides communities with grants to support law enforcement and crime prevention efforts.