Village of Cooperstown

Policy for

Installation, Operation, and Maintenance of Fixed-Location Cameras by the Cooperstown Police Department 

Approved March 27, 2023


The purpose of this policy is to codify practices for use by the Cooperstown Police Department (CPD) of fixed-location Cameras installed on Public Property in order to enhance public safety and assist in the deterrence and investigation of crime while preserving privacy and civil rights.

  1. POLICY:
  1. The deployment, siting, operation, and maintenance of Cameras, and the storage, access, dissemination, and retention of images recorded by Cameras shall not abridge the privacy or civil rights of any individual. 
  2. Measures to ensure the preservation of privacy and civil rights in the use of Cameras shall include protection against unauthorized siting of Cameras and access to, or viewing of, live or Archived Images. 
  3. Cameras will supplement, not replace, community policing initiatives as provided for in the Village of Cooperstown (Village) Police Reform Plan and therefore Camera images will not be actively monitored in real time.
  4. This policy does not apply to cameras used by the Cooperstown Police Department (CPD) for criminal surveillance pursuant to judicially issued warrants and as otherwise provided by New York State Law.  
  5. This policy does not apply to lessees of Village property, provided that installation and use of cameras for security or surveillance purposes on leased Village property are subject to review and approval by the Board of Trustees. New and renewed leases of Village property shall include terms regarding such cameras.
  1. The CPD is authorized to deploy, operate, and maintain video-only Cameras pursuant to Section V of this policy. No other fixed-location Cameras shall be deployed, operated, or maintained by the CPD except pursuant to Section V herein. 
  2. Cameras subject to this policy may be used for the following purposes:
    1. To record criminal activity and suspects.
    2. To identify and gather evidence in criminal and civil actions.
    3. To record police actions, including internal investigations.
    4. To safeguard individual and police officer rights.
    5. To aid in the search for lost or missing children or adults.
    6. To assist emergency service personnel when responding to incidents.
    7. To assist with the training needs of the police department through after-action assessments of public safety personnel.
  3.  Cameras will record twenty-four (24) hours per day, seven (7) days per week, unless their operation is interrupted by power, network, mechanical failure, or slowdown. 
    1. Archived Images – Archived Images means still or moving images recorded by Cameras and digitally stored.
    2. Camera – Camera means a fixed-location device for recording still or moving images, which will be limited to visual, not audio, recording.    
    3. Department Personnel – Department Personnel means all sworn police department employees.
    4. Monitoring – Monitoring means sustained real-time viewing of Camera recordings.
    5. Public Property – Public Property means real estate owned or controlled by the Village, including parks, streets, sidewalks, buildings, and playgrounds that are used by the general public.
  1. Camera Placement:
    1. Intersection of Chestnut and Main (traffic light pole mounted) directed east on Main Street.
    2. Pioneer Park area directed east on Main Street and north and south on Pioneer Street.
    3. Main and Fair (mounted on 22 Main Street) directed west on Main.
    4. Pioneer Street side of Lakefront Park north of the last house on the east side of Pioneer Street directed toward the Village docks.
    5. The following procedures govern the siting of any additional Cameras in the Village:
      1. The Public Safety Committee, after consultation with the CPD, shall recommend Camera sites to the Board of Trustees at locations on Public Property in the Village. 
      2. A recommendation shall include data and analysis, by category and by month, of incidents within the area proposed for Camera coverage as reported by CPD to the Public Safety Committee for the twelve months immediately preceding the Public Safety Committee’s recommendation to the Board of Trustees. 
      3. The following are the categories for which data and analysis may be made: Motor Vehicle Accidents, Domestic Disputes, Disorderly Conduct, Suspicion Person, Assistance to other Agencies, Welfare Checks, Property Retrievals, Larceny, Burglar Alarms, Found Property, Assistance to Motorists, Suspicious Activities, Attempts to Locate, Criminal Mischief, Unauthorized Use of a Motor Vehicle, Unattended Death, EMS Call, Boat Complaint, Stolen License Plate, Harassment, Abandoned Vehicle, Animal Complaints, Civil Matter, Criminal Contempt, 911 Hang Up, Traffic Stops, Uniform Traffic Tickets, Parking Tickets Issued, Arrests.
      4. The Board of Trustees shall not approve any recommendation absent a demonstrated correlation between trends in police activity for the period of record and the anticipated mitigating effect that Camera installation will have on policing and public safety in the area in which Cameras will be installed.
  1. Monitoring and Access:
  1. Department Personnel will conduct Monitoring only in the case of special events involving the closure of Main Street or a missing person, crime in progress, or other emergency affecting public health or safety. 
  2. Archived Images may be accessed by Department Personnel only for the purposes of Section III (B) herein. 
  3. The Chief of Police or the Officer in Charge shall have the authority to permit Monitoring as per V. B.(1) or grant access to Archived Images by Department Personnel. 
  1. Retention of Archived Images:
  1. Archived Images shall be stored on a secure server specifically designated for the camera system. Only designated Department Personnel will have access.
  2. Archived Images shall be stored for approximately 30 days, depending upon the storage capacity of the server. The server will perform automatic deletions of the oldest Archived Images when the server’s storage capacity is full.
  3. Archived Images of incidents affecting public safety or the deterrence or investigation of a criminal or civil matter may be retained for longer than 30 days for the purpose of investigation and use as evidence.
  1. Use of Archived Images:
  1. Viewing Archived Images: Department Personnel may view Archived Images in the furtherance of an investigation and shall keep such data strictly confidential. The Mayor or Mayor’s designee may additionally view Archived Images pursuant to the purposes of Section III (B).
  2. Editing of Archived Images: Editing or otherwise altering still or moving images, except with prior approval of the Chief of Police to clarify content for investigative and training purposes or to protect the privacy of those who images were captured, is strictly prohibited. Edits may be made only to a copy of the original recording.
  3. Release of Archived Images: A digital copy of a still or moving image may be released by the Chief of Police, in consultation with the Mayor, to the media when such action is beneficial to further the investigation of an incident. Every effort should be made to protect the privacy of victims and bystanders. 
  1. Use of Reproductions of Archived Images:
  1. Reproductions of Archived Images may be used in an active police investigation with approval by the Chief of Police or Officer in Charge.
  2. Reproductions of Archived Images may be used by Village officials and staff to assist with planning to promote public safety. 
  3. Upon request, the Chief of Police or Officer in Charge may furnish reproductions of Archived Images to a court in a pending proceeding or to a District Attorney’s Office conducting an investigation or prosecution.
  4. External Law Enforcement Agencies: Requests for reproductions of Archived Images from other law enforcement agencies must be approved by the Chief of Police or Officer in Charge. Any use of Archived Images released under this section must comply with the provisions of this policy.
  5. All other requests for reproductions of Archived Images originating from other than law enforcement sources shall be processed pursuant to the Freedom of Information Law (FOIL). See
  6. Fees: Fees to cover the cost of retrieval and reproduction of Archived Images, include costs of associated personnel, will be charged to the extent allowed by law.  

No member of the CPD or other Village official or employee may engage in Monitoring or have access to Cameras or Archived Images without having been certified by the Chief of Police as having been trained as to the terms of this Policy and the operation of Cameras and use of Recorded Images.

  1. It is a violation of this policy to use Cameras or Archived Images for the following purposes:
  1. Invasion of Privacy: Except pursuant to a court order, it is a violation of this Policy to observe or record still or moving images of locations except those that are in public view from a vantage point that is accessible to the general public and where there is no reasonable expectation of privacy. Areas in which there is a reasonable expectation of privacy include, but are not limited to, the interior of private premises such as a home.
  2. Harassment/Intimidation: It is a violation of this Policy to use the Archived Images from a Camera to harass and/or intimidate any individuals or group for any reason, including, but not limited to individuals who are engaged in lawful assembly, demonstrations, and/or protests.
  3. Use/Observation Based on a Protected Characteristic: It is a violation of this Policy to use Cameras to observe individuals solely on the basis of their race, gender, ethnicity, sexual orientation, disability, religious association, political affiliation, or other classification protected by law.
  4. Personal Uses for Other than Official Purposes: It is a violation of this Policy to make personal use of Cameras or Archived Images.
  5. First Amendment Rights: It is a violation of this Policy to use Cameras or Archived Images in a way that infringes upon First Amendment rights.

Unauthorized use or misuse of a Camera or Archived Images will result in disciplinary action and may subject the wrongdoer to criminal or civil liability.

  1.             AUDITING:
  1. The Chief of Police or Officer in Charge shall conduct periodic audits of the Cameras and Archived Image repository to ensure compliance with this policy. The audit will review and assess:
  1. That only authorized personnel have access.
  2. That users are utilizing the system in an authorized manner.
  3. That the nature and quality of images is correct and of appropriate resolution.
  4. The impact of the use of the camera system on crime patterns and trends based on camera placement.
  5. The impact of the use of the camera system on incidents of crimes and investigations and arrests.
  1. The Board of Trustees of the Village of Cooperstown shall annually review this policy, reviewing and assessing:
  1. The impact of the use of the camera system on crime patterns and trends based on camera placement.
  2. The impact of the use of the camera system on incidents of crimes in light of investigations and arrests.
  3. The impact of the use of the camera system on legitimate privacy expectations of area residents.
  4. Views of Village residents regarding the ongoing deployment of the camera system.

Maintenance of Cameras will be the responsibility of the vendor. The vendor will be notified promptly of maintenance needs pursuant to the terms of the Vendor’s contract.

  1. The public shall be notified of all recommendations from the Public Safety Committee that are being considered by the Board of Trustees regarding implementation of this Policy by means of the following: 
  1. Legal Notices when a Public Hearing is to be held.
  2. Media press releases.
  3. Village of Cooperstown website.


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