NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — News that some NYPD officers will soon be headed to Los Angeles to study police body cams has raised some questions of the program’s effectiveness.

As WCBS 880’s Rich Lamb reported, John Jay College of Criminal Justice professor Eugene O’Donnell has his doubts about the impact of police body cams, but he acknowledged they will likely become the norm.

“I think they’re inevitable. I think there will be benefits, but we have to weigh the cost also,” O’Donnell said. “We have a super safe city, mostly, but there are communities that need the police engaged. The cops will tell you they have a lot of reasons not to get themselves involved, and I’d be very concerned this will be another reason not to get themselves involved.”

O’Donnell declared that body cams will make policing very formalistic, and predicted that recent highlighted events will completely transform policing – adding that it remains to be seen whether that could be good or bad.

In September of last year, NYPD Commissioner Bill Bratton announced 60 officers in five precincts — one in each borough — and one housing project would begin using body cams to record their experiences and interactions with civilians during their daily shifts.

“This is another way to get information, to create transparency, to create accountability,” Mayor Bill de Blasio said in December. “We’ve spoken continuously about the need to bring police and community together.

“It’s going to help in many ways. It’s going to improve the work of law enforcement, and, God forbid, when something goes wrong, we’re going to have clearer understanding of what happened,” the mayor added.


Leave a Reply