NEW YORK — All NYPD patrol officers will wear body cameras by the end of 2018, officials announced Tuesday.
New York City was ordered to try out body cameras as part of a 2013 court ruling that found the NYPD was targeting minorities using stop-and-frisk. Officers will all have body cameras a full year earlier than expected.
"We made it a priority," NYPD Commissioner James O' Neill said. "It helps build trust and confidence."
By April, the NYPD will be rolling out body cameras to three precincts a week. More than 1,400 body cameras were deployed to 20 precincts across the city during phase one of the program from April to November.
"Thousands of cameras equals thousands of pairs of eyes on the street," New York City Council Speaker Corey Johnson said.
Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams, a former police officer, said he he wishes he'd had a body camera when he was with the NYPD. He cited the critical evidence they could provide in trials.
"Those who are against body cameras just don’t get it," he said.
The NYPD has released body camera footage from three instances so far. It's likely they'll release footage from a Monday police-involved shooting in the Bronx as well. All but one of the last five police-involved shootings were captured on body cameras.
"Everything I'm seeing so far, I'm really impressed by how it's working," Mayor Bill de Blasio said.
The Patrolmen’s Benevolent Association, the union that represents NYPD Patrol officers, was not happy with the moved up timetable.
“It makes no sense to accelerate the program while there are so many unresolved issues regarding the use of body cams, including the very basic question of whether they actually produce a meaningful change in the interaction between police officers and civilians on the street," a spokesperson said.