Mayor Bill de Blasio announced on Wednesday that the New York Police Department was accelerating its efforts to outfit nearly every patrol officer on the force with body cameras.
Officers in several precincts could be wearing the cameras as soon as Friday.
Mr. de Blasio, speaking at a news conference at the Police Academy in Queens, said the cameras would “fundamentally change” the way the police and community interact.
“When something happens, to have a video record of it, from the police officers’ perspective, is going to help in many, many ways,” he said. “And God forbid, when something goes wrong, we are going to have a clearer sense of what happened.”
On Wednesday, Police Commissioner William J. Bratton told the New York Times that the use of body cameras was something he has been interested in since his time leading the Los Angeles Police Department.
In recent years, the technology has continued to improve, and Mr. Bratton said the city would learn from the experience of other departments, including that of London, where some 20,000 officers are being outfitted with cameras.
The New York program will last several months and will be rolled out as part of a broader effort to increase the technical capabilities of the department. In addition to the cameras, 35,000 police officers will be issued specially programmed smartphones. Additionally, about 6,000 tablet computers will be distributed to help officers obtain real-time information while in the field.