N.Y. county deputies to be paid $750 annual stipend to maintain body cameras
The union said they wanted to address the training, maintenance and administrative duties needed to implement the new tech
By Shenandoah Briere
The Daily Gazette
BALLSTON SPA, N.Y. — Saratoga County sheriff's deputies will begin receiving $750 annual stipends from 2025 until the county's contract with the Saratoga deputies' union expires in 2027 to maintain body cameras.
"While our members do not have an option whether or not to wear body cameras, our concern as a union was being compensated to address the additional training, maintenance, and administrative duties needed to properly implement the new technology," said Ryan Mahan, president of The Saratoga County Deputy Sheriff Police Benevolent Association.
Last Thursday the county approved a five-year contract with the union.
Neither the resolution to approve the agreement between the county and PBA nor the agreement itself were included in the county's agenda for its meeting, but were supplied to the Gazette upon request.
Public Relations Director Christine Rush said the actual contract between the two entities would be made available once finalized.
"As is typical in contract negotiations, the actual contract is developed after the MOA is signed and ratified," she said.
Rush said deputies were required to wear body cameras, a recommendation that stemmed from the county's police reform committee. The committee was formed as part of an executive order by former Gov. Andrew Cuomo that applied statewide.
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The agreement also includes pay increases.
The 138 Sheriff's Department employees represented by the union will see gradual raises, with a 1% increase in pay beginning in 2025.
In 2026 union members will receive a 1.5% salary increase and a 2% increase in 2027.
As part of the agreement union members will increase their healthcare contribution 20% starting next year. They will also pay increased copays.
On top of changes to healthcare and pay, the contract also sets up a 20-year retirement plan.
"This will help the county attract and retain law enforcement professionals dedicated to keeping Saratoga County one of the safest communities in New York state," states a press release from the county.
Mahan said that over the last 20 years the union's biggest issues have been pay and parity in retirement.
"By working together we have overcome one major obstacle and will continue to work towards our future goals," he said. "Our union is proud of the results achieved alongside the Saratoga County Board of Supervisors from that process. We do believe that this will provide aid in the recruitment of talented officers."
Wilton Supervisor John Lant, who is the chairman of the county's Public Safety Committee, said he's proud of the officers that serve the county and the contract supports that.
"This contract agreement not only ensures our sheriff's deputies receive comprehensive benefits but also makes changes that will help us in our ongoing recruitment efforts," he said.
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