NY to establish central police database

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) – Gov. Andrew Cuomo wants to spend $10 million to help establish a new database of police information that departments across the state could share online.

An administration official said Saturday the governor will detail the initiative when he unveils his proposed state budget on Tuesday. The official wasn’t authorized to discuss the proposal in advance and spoke on condition of anonymity.

The database would be intended to make it easier for state and local police to share crime information and coordinate responses across jurisdictions without having to request information and then wait for a reply.

Local authorities are expected to join the so-called New York State Protection Cloud during the next four years with collective savings estimated to reach $12 million annually.

Cloud computing refers to the ability to run a program on many connected computers, which can involve a large amount of data.

Peter Kehoe, executive director of the state sheriffs’ association, said criminals often move from city to city so having instant access to information from law enforcement agencies across the state will be an important resource for certain cases.

Donna Lieberman, executive director of the New York Civil Liberties Union, said the proposed database seems like a good idea, but before it’s established, people need to know what’s going to be in it and who would have access. She said it’s important to implement safeguards against the potential misuse of a database full of sensitive information — and hold the government accountable.

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