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.