On Thursday, Police Commissioner Bill Bratton announced details of the NYPD body camera pilot program that will allow officers to record their activity and interactions while on duty. Initially, plans for 50 body cameras were announced, but the New York Times reports that “60 cameras will be deployed in the coming months in five high-crime police precincts, one in each of the city’s five boroughs.” Precincts in South Bronx, East New York, Jamaica, and the troubled northeastern Staten Island will be issued the equipment, as well as police units that cover the Brownsville housing complexes.
But while Bratton proudly displayed the cameras as “the next wave” of police technology before the press, the pilot program is simply that — a pilot program, and the subject test pool is very small:
Officers will participate voluntarily, with a goal of having at least one officer wearing a camera on each shift at the selected precincts.
It is yet unclear when the cameras will be recording:
Mr. Bratton said the camera policy had yet to be finalized. He added that depending on the circumstance, officers could be required to record, prohibited from recording, or given the discretion to choose.
So, of the 35,000 uniformed officers working in the city, at least five will have a camera, which may or may not be recording. The program will launch this fall and last five months. It’s a good start though. (Photo: ACLU-WA)