NYPD Deploys Body-Worn Cameras in the Washington Heights Neighborhood of Manhattan

More than 1,000 cameras scheduled for deployment by the end of 2017, 22,000 by the end of 2019

New York, New York— Today the New York City Police Department began the rollout of its police officer body-worn camera (BWC) pilot program in the 34 Precinct, covering the Washington Heights neighborhood of Manhattan. The Vievu cameras will initially be worn by each of the approximately 50 officers on patrol assigned to the 4 P.M. to midnight shift. The rollout will continue to additional precincts through the end of 2017, with a total of 5,000 cameras deployed through 2018, and approximately 22,000 by the end of 2019.

The NYPD body-worn camera program is the culmination of exhaustive research that began in 2014 with a best-practices visit to the Los Angeles Police Department and review of roughly 50 other law enforcement agencies’ programs. Since then, the NYPD has sought the input of more than 30 key stakeholders and advocates, including: NYC’s respective District Attorneys, New York City Council, Public Advocate, New York Civil Liberties Union, Civilian Complaint Review Board, Citizens Crime Commission, Police Executive Research Forum. The general public and members of the NYPD also answered 30,000 questionnaires about BWC, collectively. Feedback gained from this outreach is reflected in multiple aspects of the updated procedure guiding the BWC program, including:
· Location on the officer’s uniform where body-worn cameras should be worn
· Circumstances in which officers to give notice to individuals being recorded
· Retention period for untagged footage being (1) year
· Creation of a dedicated email address for FOIL requests related to BWC footage

The NYPD has developed a policy that requires police officers to engage their BWC during the following circumstances:
· All uses of force
· All arrests and summonses
· All interactions with people suspected of criminality
· All searches of persons and property
· Any officer response to a crime in progress
· All interactions with emotionally disturbed people

“The NYPD has worked incredibly hard to build meaningful relationships between New York City’s communities and the officers who protect them,” said Police Commissioner James P. O’Neill. “Not only will body-worn cameras enhance transparency and accountability, they will improve the trust that continues to grow between New Yorkers and the police.”

“The NYPD’s innovative neighborhood policing strategy has strengthened the relationship between police and communities. And as trust has grown, crime has declined,” said Mayor de Blasio. “Today is a historic day, as we deploy the first full tour of New York City police officers ever to formally wear body worn cameras. These cameras will guide a new day of policing in New York City that will further bolster the atmosphere of transparency and accountability that has grown in recent years, helping us continue to keep New York City the safest big city in the country.”