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Fact Sheet on NYPD usage of Body Cameras For Press Conference at Midtown North Precinct:

Fact Sheet on NYPD usage of Body Cameras

For Press Conference at Midtown North Precinct: October 1, 2013

In her August 12, 2013 decision in Floyd v. City of New York, Judge Shira Scheindlin ordered the NYPD to implement a one-year pilot program requiring officers in five precincts to wear

body cameras to provide a contemporaneous, objective record of stop-and-frisks.

did not specify a timetable for the implementation of the program. The City is appealing the decision.

The judge

 

FACTS

Hundreds of police departments around the country are already using police body cameras, including departments in big cities like Oakland, Fort Worth, Las Vegas and Albuquerque. More departments seem to sign up every week. Just this month, Los Angeles and New Orleans announced plans to equip their officers with body cameras.

The Mayor and Police Commissioner have strenuously objected to the judges body camera order, with Mayor Bloomberg stating that it would be a nightmareto have NYPD officers wear them. Pat Lynch, head of the Patrolmens Benevolent Association, said there is simply no need to equip patrol officers with body cams.

In addition to protecting citizens from police abuse, the cameras have been hailed for their role in reducing false complaints against police officers. The city of Rialto, California, saw complaints against police officers fall by 88 percent, compared to the prior twelve months, after body cams were implemented there.

The cameras can be attached to hats, sunglasses, or shirt collars. At a cost of $300 to $900 per camera, it could cost as much as $31 million to outfit each of the NYPD 35,000 officers. Advocates of the cameras, however, have noted the potential savings from frivolous lawsuits against police. New York City paid $664 million in civil settlements in 2011, including $119 million for police misconduct and civil rights violations.

Civil liberties groups have expressed support for police body cameras. Donna Lieberman from the New York Civil Liberties Union has stated that, despite privacy concerns, having officers wear body cameras is a “win-win” for New Yorkers and the police.

Large segments of the voting public favor greater police oversight. A recent poll found that 74% of Democrats supported the creation of an NYPD Inspector General, while 85% favored increasing the use of surveillance cameras in public places. It is unknown how the Mayoral candidates DeBlasio and Lhota feel about police body cameras.