WHITESTONE — Some NYPD officers will start wearing body cameras as part of a pilot program that the mayor said he hopes will reduce crime and improve community relations with the department.
The program will be rolled out in six commands across the city, with three precincts — the 120th on Staten Island, the 40th in The Bronx and PSA 2 in Brooklyn — beginning on Friday, Dec. 5, Police Commissioner Bill Bratton said.
The other three precincts will be testing out another camera that is set to be unveiled next week.
"This pilot program I think is a sign of great hope and possibility of something that will not only give us that additional information but really give people greater confidence," Mayor Bill de Blasio said.
"When something happens, to have a video record of it from the police officer's perspective, it's going to help in many, many ways. It's going to improve the work of law enforcement."
Officers from the 120th Precinct were at the NYPD’s academy Wednesday to demonstrate how the cameras will be used, and they acted out a scenario involving a driver pulled over for an illegal turn.
The cameras are attached at chest level to the officer’s jackets and are activated by sliding them down.
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Each costs $100 a month to operate. The $50,000 pilot program is funded through the Police Foundation, and it was unclear how much the cameras cost.
It was unclear how many officers in each precinct would get them.
This model used by the first three commands, the VieVue LE3, lasts five hours and can record several hours of footage, officials said.
Officers are assigned their own camera and the devices are charged, and video is uploaded, at the end of each tour, the commissioner said.
It will be up to the officer’s discretion on when they use the cameras, but Public Advocate Tish James said she felt they should be used in every interaction involving police and the community.