More than $160,000 in State Funding Used to Purchase New Radar Units for 107 Police Departments and Sheriffs’ Offices Across the State
Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced New York State is investing more than $160,000 for 107 law enforcement agencies to replace old or obsolete radar devices with state-of-the-art speed enforcement equipment. This is the second year that the state Division of Criminal Justice Services has funded the devices, which will help police and sheriff’s departments keep the roadways they patrol safer by more effectively targeting aggressive and reckless drivers.
"This administration has zero tolerance for reckless driving and this funding will help law enforcement agencies across New York protect our roadways," Governor Cuomo said. "It is vital that our police agencies have the means to replace out-of-date tools to help ensure the safety of all New Yorkers."
The Division of Criminal Justice Services last year replaced 243 obsolete radar units, spending approximately $343,000 and complementing the funding provided through the Governor’s Traffic Safety Committee to other police agencies for the devices. Each radar unit costs about $1,500. Aggressive and reckless driving is often cited as a contributing element to crashes: In 2015, 12,412 crashes in New York that has speed as a factor caused either injury or death. Among these crashes, 292 resulted in at least one fatality and another 12,120 caused personal injury.
Division of Criminal Justice Services Executive Deputy Commissioner Michael C. Green said, "So often, police agencies are being asked to do more with less funding and as a result, they sometimes lack the resources to keep equipment like radar units up to date. This program helped replace dozens of units last year and represented a great example of the state providing funding and expertise to help local law enforcement."
The DCJS Highway Safety Technology Unit is tasked with performing annual preventative maintenance and repairs on approximately 5,500 radar devices for 420 police agencies, at no local cost. The agency decided to fund state-of-the-art devices because technicians discovered during their work that many of the existing units were too costly to repair. Others lacked an ‘”instant on” transmit feature and some were both antiquated and too large for the confined space in newer-model police cruisers, limiting their use.
When agencies bring units to be serviced, Highway Safety Technology Unit technicians will replace those deemed to be too costly or outdated to repair. So far this year, 15 agencies have received the devices:
- Mid-Hudson Region: Police departments in Brewster, Greenburgh, Highland Falls, New Windsor, Piermont and Scarsdale
- Capital Region: Hudson Falls Police Department
- Central New York: Police departments in Camden, Jordan and Little Falls
- Southern Tier: Sherburne Police Department
- Finger Lakes: Police departments in Brighton, Canandaigua, Rochester, and Webster
- Western New York: Lakewood-Busti Police Department and the Chautauqua County Sheriff’s Office.
- North Country: New York State Park Police, Thousand Islands Region
The Division of Criminal Justice Services expects to distribute the remaining devices to police agencies by late summer. City, village and town police departments and sheriff’s offices, in addition to SUNY Police; state Park Police, state DEC Police and MTA Police, are eligible to receive the replacement units. The New York State Police are not, as that agency maintains its own radar devices.
Highway Safety Technology Unit staff calibrate, test and certify units before providing them to agencies. New radar units are the property of the recipient department. Distribution is being done on a case-by-case basis with the goal of eliminating those units that are most in need of replacement.
The Division of Criminal Justice Services will replace one device per agency. If additional devices remain after that initial distribution, staff of the Highway Technology Safety Unit will identify additional agencies that own units needing replacement.
The New York State Division of Criminal Justice Services is a multi-function criminal justice support agency with a variety of responsibilities, including law enforcement training; collection and analysis of statewide crime data; maintenance of criminal history information and fingerprint files; administrative oversight of the state's DNA databank, in partnership with the New York State Police; funding and oversight of probation and community correction programs; administration of federal and state criminal justice funds; support of criminal justice-related agencies across the state; and administration of the state’s Sex Offender Registry.