Recent unrest about the accountability of police officers has lead the NYPD to announced that it has decided that some NYPD officers will begin wearing body cameras as early as next week. This follows a report from Austin that the Austin police force has been studying the viability of body cameras, as well as well as President Obama announcing that the White House would provide $75 million in funds to help police departments start to use body cameras to hold officers accountable. Law enforcement in other local jurisdictions have already begun requiring their officers to wear body cameras.
Police departments and communities are currently in distrust of each other, and Mark Ahn thinks that these measures are intended to help bridge the gap between local law enforcement and the communities they serve. It is clear that their is a growing unrest and distrust, and hopefully this and other measures will help mend the trust that has been lost.
The initiative in the NYPD is part of a pilot program. Officers from the 120th precinct in Staten Island, as well as officers in two other precincts will begin wearing the cameras by Friday, and three more will get cameras by next week.
The camera’s will be able to record about 30 seconds to a minute of data and will begin recording when the officer initiates. It is intended to prevent incidents, be used as evidence, and restore faith in the police. If the program is successful it will be expanded after the initial three month period