A review of the New York City Police Department’s body camera program is currently underway, reports the New York Daily News. Currently, there are 54 New York City police officers who have been equipped with body cameras during their patrols.
Additional body cameras will be given to roughly 1,000 NYPD officers across the city. The 54 officers who were originally granted these bodies served as an early test for the more extensive program. As data comes in, New York Police Department’s inspector general Philip Eure believes they need to issue some policy changes.
“There are some good things,” says Eure. “We just feel very strongly that before they expand the program, they need to take a harder look at some of these things.” Police officials are now reviewing the report, which examines the impact the cameras made on the 54 officers who have been wearing them.
Cops were instructed to use the body cams when there is reasonable suspicion that a crime is happening, during traffic stops, and during incidents in which force is used. Police cameras allow officers to improve their safety techniques by giving them the ability to review and critique their actions during a dangerous situation. Some police departments allowed their officers to tape all their encounters, or to use their own instinct when determining whether or not to turn the camera on.
Thus far, the report seems to suggest that more stops should be recorded than there currently are. Research suggests that the department should better define the kinds of interactions that should qualify for recording. Officers should also be trained to know which situations they should not record, such as interactions with sex crime victims.
The NYPD plans to significantly increase the amount of body cameras on their officers. In addition to the 1,000 planned, NYPD is seeking bids for contractors to provide them with an additional 5,000 cameras, and software for storing the recordings.