NYPD Unveils Details of Body Camera Pilot Program

By Natalie Musumeci and Ben Fractenberg  on September 4, 2014 8:15pm

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 Police Comissioner Bill Bratton announced a pilot program at One Police Plaza Thursday where 60 officers will volunteer to wear body cameras, Sept. 4, 2014.  
NYPD Announces Body Camera Pilot Program
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CIVIC CENTER — Police Commissioner Bill Bratton unveiled details Thursday of the court-ordered body camera program the NYPD will launch in high-crime areas across the city over the next a few months.

Sixty officers in precincts including the 23rd Precinct in East Harlem, 40th Precinct in the South Bronx, 75th Precinct in East New York, 103rd and 102nd precincts in Jamaica and Richmond Hill, as well as Police Service Area 2 in the the 73rd Precinct, both in Brownsville, will test run the body camera technology on a volunteer basis, according to the NYPD.

The precincts will get six cameras each, Bratton said.

“The NYPD is committed to embracing new and emerging technology in order to continue to keep New York City safe,” Bratton said. “Having patrol officers wear body cameras during this pilot demonstrates our commitment to transparency while it will also allow us to review its effectiveness with the intention of expanding the program.”

The precincts were chosen based on previous amounts of stop-and-frisks.

"These police commands were selected in direct response to the judges ruling in the case of Floyd versus the city of New York," Bratton said during the press conference at police headquarters.

Officers will test run two types of body cameras: the Taser AXON Flex, which can attach to glasses, and the Vievu LE3, which clips to the chest.

Half of the volunteer officers will have the two-piece AXON cameras and the other half will have the Vievu, according to the NYPD.

Members of the Office of Information Technology traveled to California in March to observe how the Los Angeles Police Department uses the recording devices.

"This is an extraordinarily complex initiative. It is not simply going down to your local RadioShack and buying one of these things and putting it on,” Bratton said. “There's policies that need to be developed."

Bratton said that the cost of storage and archiving footage goes into the cost of tens of millions of dollars per year.

The program aims to cut through controversy when the facts of an arrest are in dispute, Bratton added.

"The camera is a significant enhancement to the he-said-she-said controversy," he said.

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