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NYPD Officers Warned Against Using Their Smartphones On Duty

August 18, 2014  | 

Photo: Mark Clark for Police Magazine
Photo: Mark Clark for Police Magazine

New York City police officers were warned against using their personal cell phones to record video or take pictures while on duty unless authorized by a supervisor, the New York Daily News is reporting.

"Members of the service are reminded that any video or audio created by any device, including a personal device becomes a record for legal purposes and is therefore subject to applicable evidentiary laws," NYPD administrators said in an order dated Aug. 7 which prohibits cops from taking photos or video and audio recordings "during any encounter."

The memo was sent out a day after rank-and-file cops were reminded that they can't legally take action to stop someone from filming them while they're on the beat.

No particular court case prompted the warning and the "no record" rule has been on the books for some time, according to an NYPD spokeswoman.

"We frequently issue internal memos to members of the service reminding them of the department's policy and procedures," the spokeswoman said.


Comments (3)

Displaying 1 - 3 of 3

SGT JJ @ 8/18/2014 12:13 PM

There should be no problem of officers taking videos as long as they are sure they want to record them as evidence. Likewise, if the suspect takes videos of his arrest, his camera video should be held as evidence.

Let's not keep putting more handcuffs on our cops that have a hard enough time doing the job of serving and protecting those who are apathetic towards the police, not caring until THEY need help and can't reach a liberal politician to help them.

Dan B. @ 8/18/2014 4:54 PM

Sgt JJ:
I am curious, and please do not get me wrong, I have been a Deputy Sheriff in CA for eight years. If a surveillance camera mounted on a private business records a crime and the business owner tells you that you cannot see his video, and that he will not burn a copy to a disc or thumb drive for you, do you seize his video system for evidence?

Same thing with a citizen who is not interfering with an officer engaged in his lawful duties, but standing to the side and recording the incident. If he does not want to "give you his camera" you cannot seize it as evidence. You would need a warrant first. You can detain him and prevent him from destroying the evidence, but you cannot legally take it until you have a warrant.

Sgt JJ @ 8/18/2014 7:14 PM

Dan B...you secure the crime seen and call for a telephonic warrant.

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