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NYPD Releases Body Camera Procedure For Pilot Program

By Ben Fractenberg | April 7, 2017 3:30pm | Updated on April 9, 2017 10:13pm
 Sergeant Andrea Cruz demonstrates the Vievu LE3, a pager-size camera worn on the front of an officer’s shirt.
 
 
 
Sergeant Andrea Cruz demonstrates the Vievu LE3, a pager-size camera worn on the front of an officer’s shirt.      
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DNAinfo/Natalie Musumeci

MANHATTAN — The NYPD released proposed rules on when officers will use new body-worn cameras, police said Friday.

The pilot program, which will be tested in the 34th Precinct in Washington Heights and Inwood in April, will equip officers with VieVu recorders to document enforcement and investigative encounters with the public.  

“The NYPD has worked incredibly hard to build meaningful relationships between New York City’s communities and the officers who protect them,” Police Commissioner James P. O’Neill said in the a statement.  “Not only will body-worn cameras enhance transparency and accountability, they will further improve the trust that continues to grow in these relationships.”

Officers will be given a one-day training program at the Queens Police Academy  on how and when to use the recorders.

The cameras will have to activated during enforcement interactions and must be turned off if officers are speaking with confidential informants, sex crime victims and during internal meetings and trainings.

The footage will be saved for one year and officers will also be trained on how and when it could be released to prosecutors or to the public.

Critics have said the cameras give the NYPD too much control over collected footage. 

“In 2013, a federal court ordered the NYPD to use body cameras as a tool to stop unconstitutional, biased policing. We are concerned that today’s policy does not do enough to ensure that the cameras will be effective in this way,” NYCLU Senior Staff Attorney Molly Kovel said in a statement.

“We think the policy does not fully strike the right balance between privacy, transparency and oversight.”