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DAs’ offices awarded grant for video interrogation equipment

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CANTON - The district attorney offices in Jefferson, St. Lawrence and Oswego counties have been awarded grants through the state Division of Criminal Justice Services for the purchase of equipment that will be used to record interviews on video.

St. Lawrence County will receive $15,200. District Attorney Nicole M. Duve said this is the second round of funding the county has received.

Previously the county received approximately $30,000, which was distributed to the five full-time police departments in the county, Ogdensburg, Massena, Canton, Gouverneur and Potsdam, and the sheriff’s department.

The second round of funding will allow part-time police agencies in Norwood and Norfolk to receive audio and video recording equipment so that they can record interviews with suspects. It also will go toward building an interview room at the sheriff’s department and at the Potsdam Police Department.

“The grant money was made available for the purpose of ensuring fairness in police interrogations and to ensure accuracy of statements and it is being used for that purpose,” Ms. Duve said. “It’s a two-way window; it is also is a safety measure for police to protect themselves against accusations against defendants. It ensures transparency and fairness in the process to both sides.”

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