NYC Will Be Hiring 1,300 New Officers Instead of Buying Body Cameras For Every Cop

June 23, 2015 | Liam Mathews

Mayor De Blasio announced Monday that the city will hire 1,300 new NYPD officers as part of a $78.5 billion budget deal, the New York Times reports. The announcement came as a surprise, as Mayor De Blasio as recently as June 5 said that hiring more cops was unnecessary, since crime is at near-historic lows; However, there has been an uptick in murders so far this year. The hiring spree will cost approximately $100 million.

City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito and NYPD Commissioner Bill Bratton (who will get his ISIS-fighting counterterrorism officers as part of the deal) had both been pushing for more officers. Police reformers, who would rather see the NYPD improve its community policing tactics, are upset:

“’This deal to increase the NYPD head count seems like politics at its worst,’ said Monifa Bandele, a leader of the advocacy group Communities United for Police Reform. ‘It’s disappointing and perplexing that the city budget will increase the NYPD. head count when systemic problems with police accountability and culture, that allow New Yorkers to be abused and killed, have yet to be fixed.’”

The NYPD plans to expand its body camera pilot program by 5000 by next year, the New York Post reports. This is a step in the right direction. Body cameras for all of the NYPD’s 34,600 officers would cost less than $10 million, even if they bought decent 1080P cameras. The NYPD would have use for those even when the murder rate goes down again.

(Photo: Aymann Ismail/ANIMALNewYork)