All New York police officers on patrol will be equipped by the end of the year with body cameras, a generalization designed to overcome a persistent mistrust of the police, said Tuesday the authorities of the US financial capital.
The police of the first American city had already launched a pilot program at the end of 2014, after the riots aroused by the death of Eric Garner, a father strangled by the police. Several American cities have burned in recent years after police burrows which blacks were the first victims.
Nearly 2,500 cameras have already been deployed as part of this pilot program.
Following the example of other US cities, New York has now decided to accelerate the remainder of the deployment, to equip all 18,000 New York patrol officers – including those deployed in railway stations and in the United States. the subway– by the end of 2018.
“Body cameras help build confidence by playing on transparency,” Democrat Mayor Bill de Blasio told a news conference.
“The benefits far outweigh the disadvantages,” said Chief of Police James O’Neill. The cameras “have tremendous potential for de-escalation,” he said.
The cost of this generalization – some $ 28 million in total – had already been budgeted for the next two years. Investments will simply be accelerated, said the mayor.
It remains to define the conditions for broadcasting these videos to the public.
New York police say they want to play on transparency, citing the last five shootings involving police officers: four of them were recorded by body cameras, the videos corresponding to three of them have already been made public. , while the fourth should be soon, said a manager.
The announcement comes as crime is down sharply in New York, with a number of homicides – less than 300 – the lowest since 1951, according to the authorities.
In recent years, the town hall has relied on community policing, adding some 2,000 agents to reach a total of 36,000 police officers today for a population of 8.5 million.