NEW YORK - "For the first time in history Nassau County police officers will wear body cameras," announced Nassau County Executive Laura Curran and the Nassau Police Department on Thursday. They say this will be a tool to improve police accountability and build trust in our communities.
However, some critics say this announcement comes too late and that body cameras may not even be an effective tactic.
"Body cameras are just a band-aid to the systemic changes that need to happen. Let’s not mistake body cameras for real accountability and oversight. We need a CCRB that actually has disciplinary power and we need an inspector general‘s office that actually can take a look at different procedures and practices," said Shanequa Levin with Long Island United to Transform Policing & Community Safety.
"With Nassau County there’s no real reason to be excited or for any other things they decide, they fail to select a strong police reform act," said Dennis Jones, with Long Island Advocates for Police Accountability.
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The body camera program will cost about $5M and Nassau police officers will get paid $3,000 dollars a year for wearing the cameras, which is another gripe critics have.
The Nassau Police Department is the 13th largest in the nation. Here’s Police Commissioner Pat Ryder’s response when asked why it’s taken so long for body cameras to be implemented here.
"There were cost factors, there were pilot programs done in the last administration, the pilot program became very costly," said Commissioner Ryder.
In all, there will be about 2,500 cameras given to uniformed officers. The program is expected to be fully implemented by the end of this year.