What to Know
- The NYPD plans to outfit all its police officers and detectives on patrol with body cameras by the end of 2018, a year ahead of schedule
- The rollout will outfit the largest U.S. police department with body cameras ahead of the previous deadline that was set for the end of 2019
- As of Jan. 26 the NYPD has already deployed 2,470 body cameras
The NYPD is speeding up its efforts to outfit all its police officers and detectives on patrol with body cameras and now plans to have that accomplished by the end of this year — a year ahead of schedule, Mayor de Blasio and Police Commissioner James O'Neill announced Tuesday.
The rollout will outfit the largest police department in the United States with body cameras ahead of the previous deadline that was set for the end of 2019.
Starting this January, the NYPD plans to issue about 800 cameras each month, increasing to 1,000 to 2,000 per month beginning in March, the city said. By the end of 2018, the NYPD plans to have deployed a total of 18,000 body cameras. As of Jan. 26 the NYPD has already deployed 2,470 body cameras.
The accelerated rollout will cost the city $5.9 million in 2018, $12 million in 2009 and $9.5 million in 2020, according to the preliminary budget of de Blasio’s administration.
Along with the body cameras, the NYPD will undergo IT infrastructure upgrades in its facilities to ensure a smooth rollout, including more internet bandwidth to accommodate faster video footage uploads.
“Body cameras have helped guide a new day in policing, bolstering transparency and increasing accountability. Now we’re accelerating their expansion,” de Blasio said in a statement.
Feedback from officers who have already been equipped with body cameras helped accelerate the city's plan, O’Neill said in a statement.
In 2013, a federal judge ordered the NYPD to try out body cameras as part of a ruling that found the department was wrongfully targeting minorities using its stop and frisk tactic.
Deaths at the hands of police officers throughout the country in recent years have led to increased demands to outfit officers with body cameras in hopes of deterring misconduct and to document shootings. Since then departments across the nation have started using body cameras.
Last September, NYPD officers shot and killed a Bronx man who advanced at them with a knife in one hand, while the other was kept hidden, according to police. This incident marked the department's first shooting to be captured on NYPD body cameras.
Council Member Donovan Richards, Chair of the Committee on Public Safety, said in a statement that he is pleased that the city is “not waiting until 2019 to fulfill this necessary rollout, because our communities need more transparency and accountability now.”