NYPD body camera program delayed by several months, court document shows

The NYPD is taking longer than expected to get its body camera pilot program going, according to a court document filed Tuesday, because the department has yet to pick a contractor for the equipment, which could mean another six months before officers are outfitted.

The pilot program will feature 1,000 cameras in 20 precincts, and will be compared to 20 control precincts. The yearlong pilot program was ordered in August 2013.

According to the court filing, the department is now in the process of choosing a vendor, which they expect to do this month. But from there it could take another four to six months before a contract is “registered,” according to the court filing.

“Once a contract is in place, delivery will not be instant, as the vendor will have to prepare and deliver cameras and software to meet NYPD specifications,” according to the court document.

The department will then need to “draft training manuals,” hold training sessions, and create both “overall implementation plans” as well as “auditing procedures created to track compliance.”

On Tuesday, New York Civil Liberties Union Policy Counsel Michael Sisitzky said the group hopes the City Council passes the Right to Know Act — a package of police reform bills that City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito has said the NYPD will handle internally.

“It’s disappointing that the body camera program has been delayed because it’s important for the NYPD to roll it out both properly and quickly,” Sisitzky said in a statement. “Now it’s critical that the city council doesn’t just stand by and wait for technology to solve our problems, but takes its own affirmative steps to improve the NYPD’s relationship with the community by passing the Right to Know Act.”

It isn’t the first time the NYPD has tested cameras. A voluntary trial with 54 officers in five precincts and one housing command ran from December 2014 to March 31 of this year.

On Aug. 7, the comment section for an online survey offered for more than five weeks was closed. The results of that survey will be available in the fall, according to the Policing Project at NYU’s School of Law, who hosted the survey.