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Officials are calling for New York Police Department to install body cameras

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As police misconduct is made more public, citizens and officials are looking for a way to prevent said crimes. The Associated Press(via The Washington Times) reported on Tuesday, Aug. 12 that New York city official Letitia James is calling for the New York Police Department to wear body cameras to negate bad behavior.

James, New York public advocate, said on Monday that she wants to see a pilot program put in place for these devices. Last year the department spent $152 million in police misconduct claims. It would cost $5M to put camera in place for 15 percent of the force. This estimate does not account for processing the footage.

“We are living in an increasingly technological world, and we should take measures to incorporate video cameras into policing to improve public safety,” James said.

This call for supervision comes a month after 43-year-old Eric Garner died after being put in a chokehold by police. The Staten Island dad’s encounter with the NYPD was filmed, and in the video Garner continuously said he could not breathe. His death was ruled a homicide from compression of the neck.

The Guardian notes a case in Rialto, California, where body cameras have been successful. The cameras were put in place in Feb. 2012, and “officers’ use of force dropped 59%, and complaints against officers plummeted by 88%.” Rialto police captain Randy De Anda said officials from NYPD have paid a visit to his department regarding these cameras.

A spokeswoman for the NYPD said that they are looking into whether this would be a feasible option or not. Patrolmen’s Benevolent Association president Patrick Lynch said his union needs to see the effectiveness of the cameras.

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