Public Advocate Letitia James: NYPD body cameras would thwart complaints against officers

Public Advocate Letitia James says a pilot program that would equip NYPD officers with cameras would help thwart constant complaints against the police department. The

James says it would cost $32 million to

James says it would cost $32 million to equip the rest of the force with body cameras. (Credit: News 12)

BROOKLYN - Public Advocate Letitia James says a pilot program that would equip NYPD officers with cameras would help thwart constant complaints against the police department.

The program would first equip 15 percent of precincts with the most crime and highest level of complaints with the civilian complaint review board, most of which are in the Bronx and Brooklyn.

James says it would cost $5 million, with each camera costing about $700. She says the cost is a far cry from what the city paid out in complaint settlements in 2013, totaling $152 million.

James says it would cost $32 million to equip the rest of the force with body cameras.

She says a city in California experienced an 88 percent drop in police complaints in one year after body cameras were instituted.

The public advocate is hopeful that the pilot program could start at the beginning of next year.

In response to this story, the NYPD sent News 12 a statement that says, “The NYPD is exploring the feasibility of camera technology that will outfit officers and/or equip department vehicles… In the process of doing so, there are various technological, legal and logistical concerns that must be addressed before making a final decision."

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