The Erie County Video Conferencing project began development several years ago when the Who Does What? Erie County Commission found that county taxpayers could save an estimated $600,000 annually by implementing this type of video conferencing system. The Erie County Commission is encouraging frequent usage of the video conference service with plans to expand services throughout the county.
A working group of representatives from the County Executive’s Office, Erie County Legislature, NYS Office of Court Administration, Sheriff’s Office, EC District Attorney’s Office, Buffalo Niagara Partnership, Who Does What? and the Bar Association of Erie County's Assigned Counsel Program was formed to develop and implement the system.
On May 7, 2002, the governor signed legislation allowing Erie to be one of 21 counties state-wide to conduct arraignments via video-conference.
Six locations are currently “up and running”: Family Court, EC Holding Center, EC Correctional Facility, Probation, City Court and the Rath Building. The group has recently acquired state grant money to develop four additional sites which are located at: Assigned Counsel, Supreme and County Courts, Youth Detention and County Attorney’s Office.