By the end of 2018, a total of 18,000 body cameras are expected to be deployed – equipping almost the city’s entire patrol force with body cameras
The New York City Police Department will speed up its timeline to outfit all police officers and detectives on patrol with body-worn cameras by the end of 2018, one year earlier than previously planned. The city initially projected that all officers on patrol would receive body cameras by the end of 2019.
“Through the hard work of our technical and support staff, along with the valuable feedback from those commands that have already been equipped with body cameras, we are now able to move forward at a faster pace in expanding the program,” said Police Commissioner James O’Neill. “We are on track to have all precinct, transit and housing commands citywide up-and-running with body cameras by the end of this year.”
As of January 26, the NYPD has deployed 2,470 body cameras. Starting this January, the NYPD plans to issue approximately 800 cameras each month, increasing to 1,000 to 2,000 per month beginning in March. Beginning this summer, NYPD recruits will be equipped and learn how to use the cameras at the police academy, officials said. By the end of 2018, a total of 18,000 body cameras are expected to be deployed – equipping almost the entire patrol force with body cameras.
“I wish I had a body camera when I was a police officer,” said Borough President Eric L. Adams. “Transparency in policing highlights the overwhelmingly positive and powerful work that cops do in our communities, while providing critical evidence in the pursuit of justice for those select cases in which an encounter goes wrong.”
The de Blasio administration’s preliminary budget includes $5.9 million in 2018, $12 million in 2019 and $9.5 million in 2020 in funding for the accelerated rollout which will cover the cost of purchasing body cameras, IT upgrades and the creation of a space for a special Body-Worn Camera Unit.
As part of a pilot program, the NYPD outfitted its first group of officers with body cameras in April 2017, after a federal judge found in 2013 that the city’s use of the stop-and-frisk tactic was unconstitutional. Stop and frisk was found to target a disproportionate number of African Americans and Latinos while taking few guns off the street.
“We have made important strides as a city in reducing violent crime, especially gun-related deaths. These reductions would not be possible without the NYPD’s strong commitment to improving police-community relations,” said Councilmember Robert Cornegy. “As the nation grapples with the loss of innocent black and brown lives at the hands of police officers, I am pleased the NYPD has accelerated its commitment to equipping all NYPD officers with body cameras.”