Official: NYPD body cameras are 'win-win' - Dallas News | myFOXdfw.com

Official: NYPD body cameras are 'win-win'

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NEW YORK (MYFOXNY) -

Public Advocate Letitia James says a 3-ounce camera, if used correctly, could be a key tool in improving community and police relations. She showed off one of the cameras she believes NYPD patrol officers need to be wearing.

She said that the cameras would be a "win-win" for the public, transparency, police accountability improving police community relations, reducing civil liability. She also said it could exonerate police officers who are falsely accused of wrongdoing.

Some NYPD officers were already set to test out the cameras under a federal judge's ruling on stop and frisk, but that ruling is on hold pending appeal.

Under James's proposed pilot, 15 percent of patrol officers from precincts with the highest crime rates and complaints about police misconduct would get the cameras.

She estimated the pilot would cost $5 million, but would actually save taxpayers' dollars by reducing false claims against officers. She said the city pays out about $132 million a year to claims.

The 120th precinct in Staten Island ranks in the top 10 precincts when it comes to police misconduct complaints, and would likely be part of the proposed pilot. It is also the area where Eric Garner died after being placed in a police chokehold last month.

Mayor Bill de Blasio is still weighing the issue.

The NYPD has said it is exploring the feasibility of the technology.

PBA President Pat Lynch is set to meet with the public advocate next month. In the meantime he released a statement saying he is reserving his decision until he sees evidence of the effectiveness and impact on the officers who carry the cameras.

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