Mayor Bill de Blasio announced that New York City is speeding up the implementation of the NYPD's body camera program. All officers and detectives on patrol will be outfitted with the devices by the end of 2018, a year earlier than previously scheduled.
“By ensuring all patrol officers are outfitted with these essential, modern policing tools a year faster than originally planned, we’re helping to make New York City fairer faster, and growing trust between police and communities,” Mayor de Blasio said in a statement.
Nearly 2,500 body cameras are already in use. Every month, another 800 to 2,000 cameras will be issued, reaching a total of 18,000 by the end of the year.
“Through the hard work of our technical and support staff, along with the valuable feedback from those commands that have already been equipped with body cameras, we are now able to move forward at a faster pace in expanding the program,” Police Commissioner James O'Neill said.
Body cameras have already proven useful for the NYPD. On Monday night, a man with a knife was shot by officers in the Bronx. The shooting was caught on body camera footage, helping the department with its investigation.
Advocates for the body cameras said they're essential for modern policing and will help to keep New Yorkers safe. They believe it will also help to improve the relationship between the NYPD and the communities they serve.
“We fully expect this process to be complete a year ahead of schedule — with all of our police officers on patrol, housing, and transit to be wearing body cameras by the end of this year.” @NYPDONeill now at the @NYPD79Pct pic.twitter.com/jBTFujzpQR— NYPD NEWS (@NYPDnews) January 30, 2018
Mayor de Blasio's preliminary budgets include $5.9 million, $12 million and $9.5 million in each of the next three fiscal years to speed up the rollout of the body cameras. The money will cover the cost of the devices, upgrades and infrastructure upgrades.
“Body cameras have helped guide a new day in policing, bolstering transparency and increasing accountability. Now we’re accelerating their expansion,” Mayor de Blasio said.
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