The New York City Police Department plans to put body cameras on all 23,000 of its patrol officers by 2019, an ambitious effort that would dwarf all others across the country. But the nation's largest police department is lagging behind other cities, with only limited experience with the cameras and zero currently on the streets, reports the Associated Press.
Mayor Bill de Blasio says his body camera plan, announced during a proposed labor deal last month with the police officer's union, is crucial to restoring trust between officers and the communities they serve, "creating an atmosphere of transparency and accountability for the good of all."
In New York, the nation's largest police department has only experimented with the cameras on a small scale, starting with a 54-camera pilot program that ended last March. The larger roll-out, part of a federal order, began in earnest at the end of 2014 following the end of court appeals. The aim is to have 1,000 cameras deployed to 20 precincts around the city this year. About 5,000 cameras would be deployed by 2018.
The department agreed to a five-year $6.4 million contract with Vievu for 5,000 body cameras and a cloud-based storage system. Late last week, the office of city comptroller Scott Stringer briefly delayed a decision to OK the contract, but signed off on it Thursday.