The order for the NYPD to instigate a pilot body worn camera project has been cast under further doubt, with concerns that the judge’s order might not even be legal.
The New York Mayor instantly spoke against the ruling and pledged to appeal it. Now, the NYPD are reportedly planning to resist implementing the ruling as long as they can, and in this case they have an uncommon ally – the police union.
The city’s police force and Mayor both seem determined to ignore the evidence that suggests body worn video provides numerous advantages to both the public and the police departments that deploy them.
Sources have said it’s possible that the NYPD cops can’t be forced to wear the extra equipment without it being first negotiated as part of their union contract.
The city and the Police Department “are filing an injunction and hoping the judge sees our point,” a law-enforcement source said.
Pat Lynch, head of the Patrolmen’s Benevolent Association, said “there is simply no need to equip patrol officers with body cams”.
“Our members are already weighed down with equipment like escape hoods, Mace, flashlights, memo books, ASPs, radio, handcuffs and the like,” he said. “Additional equipment becomes an encumbrance and a safety issue for those carrying it.
“Given that the root cause of this stop-and-frisk problem is a significant shortage of police officers in local precincts, it seems to us that the monies spent on a body-cam pilot program would be better spent on hiring more police and officers and providing them with extensive field training.”