NYPD Mandates Body Cameras for All Uniformed Officers

William Ramage | United States

On Wednesday Febuary 6th, the NYPD annoucned to the public that all NYPD officers are now wearing body cameras. This applies to all officers in uniform. This includes all uniformed officers of any rank in every precinct, transit district, and Police Service area.

Camera Distribution

To accomplish this the NYPD had to distribute roughly 20,000 body cameras. This measure by the NYPD marks the largest deployment of body cameras in the nation. In addition to this, the NYPD will also distribute 4,000 more body cameras by the end of August to specialized units which include the Emergency Service Unit, Strategic Response Group, and Critical Response Command.

NYPD Commisioner James O’Neil released the following statement about the body cameras:

This completed roll-out marks a significant milestone for the NYPD.”

Benefits of the Body Cameras

This conclusion deployment was overdue as previous efforts in New York fell short when a body cam exploded during use. The implementation of the use of body cameras will aid in ensuring that officers act within their jurisdiction. It will also aid in training.  The NYPD can use analyzation of the film to show examples of correct and incorrect procedure. Bodycams will give police officers an in-depth look into what procedures are working and what aren’t, as well as whether or not the officers are committing any wrongdoing. This will also affect the prosecution of suspects and officers, as there will be solid evidence to support any charges.

The cameras do not constantly record. Therefore, an NYPD officer must turn on the body camera before they make an arrest, search, stop someone, or issue a summons. While many find this aspect of the implementation counter-intuitive, the department has made it evident that disciplinary measures will be taken against the officers that fail to cooperate.

What Does This Mean for Other Law Enforcement Agencies?

This marks a big step in the future of law enforcement. The NYPD is currently the largest law enforcement agency in the country. Consequently, they have set a precedent for other agencies across the nation. The NYPD has already been to the body cameras to use. The NYPD’s body cameras have recorded about 3.5 million videos since the rollout. 

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