NYPD: All uniform patrol officers now equipped with BWCs
All NYPD officers are now wearing body cameras, including sergeants and lieutenants in every precinct, transit district and public housing police area
Anthony M. Destefano
NEW YORK — The NYPD reached a benchmark Wednesday as officials announced that about 20,000 cops have been outfitted with body-worn cameras, which have captured over 3.5 million videos over the course of two years.
At a briefing with reporters to discuss the news of the latest rollout, first deputy commissioner Benjamin Tucker said all NYPD officers are now wearing body cameras, including sergeants and lieutenants in every precinct, transit district and public housing police area.
Over the coming months, the NYPD will also be providing cameras to some 4,000 officers in specialized units, such as the Critical Response Command, Highway Patrol, Emergency Services units and Strategic Response Command, said Jessica Tisch, deputy commissioner for information technology.
A recent appeals court ruling struck down an injunction that prevented the NYPD from releasing videos.
Tucker said videos of police-involved shootings are being evaluated on a case-by-case basis for possible release, including the friendly-fire death last month of Det. Brian Simonsen.
The camera program continued despite a glitch last October when one camera used on Staten Island caught fire, causing the department to recall LE-5 model cameras from use, replacing them with an earlier model and a newer Axon-Body 2 model. The Axon model will become the standard-bearer as older model LE-4s are replaced this year, officials explained.
The cameras have helped the department get to the bottom of allegations of police misconduct, with videos able to show if the allegations were substantiated, said Tucker. Cameras are also proving useful in training and assessing police actions after an incident.