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NYPD Starts Body Camera Pilot Program 170

An anonymous reader writes: In the wake of the Michael Brown shooting, calls for continuous recording of all police activity have become loud and strenuous. Now, one of the biggest police forces in the world will begin testing body cameras. The New York Police Department announced a pilot program to test the wearable cameras in high-crime districts. "[T]he participation of the New York department, with its 35,000 uniformed members and vast footprint on the country's policing policy, could permanently shift the balance in favor of the cameras, which both civil libertarians and many police chiefs have cited as a way to improve relations between citizens and law enforcement, particularly in heavily policed minority communities." The NYPD will be testing hardware from two manufacturers: Vievu and Taser International. While the 60-camera pilot program will get running for about $60,000, IT costs are expected to quickly outstrip that amount.
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NYPD Starts Body Camera Pilot Program

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  • by gurps_npc ( 621217 ) on Friday September 05, 2014 @10:18AM (#47834231) Homepage
    To make sure that NYC is not Ferguson.

    He has a couple of "meet the police" fairs, which I never saw before.

    He has done everything right that Ferguson did wrong.

    Now, the NYC police is not perfect, but at least they are actively attempting to do a better job, rather than attempting to prove how 'tough' they are.

    The police have a hard job and the violent nature of their business tends to make certain foolish people think their job is to be as powerful as possible.

    Glad to see that NYC is moving in the right direction.

  • by ArcadeMan ( 2766669 ) on Friday September 05, 2014 @10:55AM (#47834505)

    "The participation of the New York department, with its 35,000 uniformed members... While the 60-camera pilot program will get running for about $60,000, IT costs are expected to quickly outstrip that amount.

    So, 0.171428571429% of the NYPD will have a body camera. And as nimbius said above, it's not a problem of monitoring, it's a problem of psychology and mindset. It seems police officers think of themselves as soldiers fighting enemy forces instead of officers serving and protecting the public.

  • by Firethorn ( 177587 ) on Friday September 05, 2014 @11:53AM (#47834973) Homepage Journal

    I was going to chime in with pretty much the same deal - the NYPD has about 4k more people than Juneau, the capital of Alaska.

    On the topic of the IT costs - 60 cameras and associated gear for $60k sounds about right for hardware cost alone. IT costs, if you're counting labor it's going to cost more than that to obtain a person with a background in security video and preferably justice in the first quarter alone. Then you start looking at storing all the video...

    Given the task, I'd probably go with the netflix solution - lots of hard drives. Speed isn't really required since the video will only be pulled up if there's a question, and any video pulled up is more likely to be viewed again, so if the main array starts getting too slow, put a caching SSD in as necessary. There's going to be just too much video to justify SSD storage. Heck, off-line tapes would be an eventual step if the program expands.

    On the topic of the CAMERAS. From various places such as Canada deploying them, I've heard that rates of both assault of police officers AND allegations of police misconduct, verified and unverified both dropped with the introduction of the cameras. To me at least, it seems that people tend to 'be on their best behavior' when they know they're being recorded. It's just that to keep the 'bad' cops* from turning them off or such you need to regularly review the records and punish improper shut downs and/or abuse of the equipment. Get it to the point that 'turned off the camera' counts less as lack of evidence and more evidence that you concealed/destroyed evidence.

    *Many of whom I think belong in prison.

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