Christine Cohen

State Senator

Christine Cohen

Deputy President Pro Tempore

Listening, Advocating & Getting Results

December 18, 2019

Sen. Cohen, Rep. Candelora Applaud State Funding for North Branford Police Cameras

NORTH BRANFORD — State Senator Christine Cohen (D-Guilford) and state Representative Vincent Candelora (R-North Branford) today applauded the State Bond Commission’s release of $54,707 to North Branford to pay for body-worn police cameras, thereby capping their bipartisan work to have the state reimburse North Branford for equipment it purchased in 2018.

“With financial timelines not coinciding with the state reimbursement deadline, North Branford found themselves footing 100 percent of the bill for the cost of body-worn police cameras. Representative Candelora and I sought to relieve this financial burden by introducing legislation to extend that deadline for the town. Today, the State Bond Commission approved $54,707 for North Branford,” Sen. Cohen said. “I am proud we were able to deliver for North Branford’s police and its taxpayers. We worked in a bipartisan manner to ensure this legislation crossed the finish line unanimously, helping the people of North Branford. This is truly a state government success story.”

“This is great news for North Branford, which saw its effort to receive full reimbursement through a state grant program fall victim to a timing-related technicality,” said Rep. Candelora. “Municipal budgets are tighter than ever, and local property taxpayers can pay a heavy price when their communities fail to receive money they expected from the state. I’m happy to have worked with Senator Cohen to help North Branford avoid a real headache.”

A few years ago, the legislature expanded a state grant program that reimburses municipalities for police body cameras by offering 100 percent reimbursement for those purchased in Fiscal Year 2017-2018, which ended on June 30, 2018. The reimbursement rate then dropped to 50 percent for cameras purchased after July 1, 2018. North Branford entered into a camera contract in FY17-18 and budgeted for the full reimbursement, but the state’s budget office denied the town’s reimbursement request because the bill was actually paid the bill in July 2018. North Branford officials, however, had already booked the camera expense for FY17-18 and were expecting a 100% state reimbursement.

This year, Sen. Cohen and Rep. Candelora successfully introduced and passed bipartisan legislation (House Bill 6754) to extend the time to August 31, 2018 for towns to be eligible for 100% state reimbursement.