In a bit of contract negotiation, the NYPD, which is required to deploy body cameras on cops, has announced that it’s going to take another six months just to negotiate the contract with the police union.
The fact that cops don’t want to wear cameras is the best possible argument for why they should be wearing cameras! (I am aware that that’s the “homeland security double bind argument”*) I think it’s fair to make that argument because that’s the same argument the police used to justify “stop and frisk” programs. Hey, if you’re not carrying drugs, you don’t have a reason to mind being subjected to unconstitutional racially profiled search, right? Hey, if you’re wearing blue you don’t have a reason to mind wearing a cop camera because it’s actually part of the “serve” part of “protect and serve.”
Despite being ordered to start testing body cameras in 2013, the NYPD is facing delays that will likely push the program off to next year, said Peter Zimroth, the program’s court-appointed monitor.
Oh, court-appointed monitor – you mean, that order to start testing? You’re just going to blow it off, cops?
Manhattan federal Judge Shira Scheindlin ordered the NYPD to test body cameras for one year in response to class-action lawsuits challenging the constitutionality of the department’s controversial stop-and-frisk program, which the plaintiffs said unfairly discriminated against minorities.
Apparently, yes. And, did you know that cops are going to need training in how to use the cameras and that’s going to also take time?
Here, I have drafted some training materials NYPD can use:
- Before leaving the station, put the camera on using the provided clip to the velcro patch on your uniform
- Press the button thingie
- Forget about it
- When you get back to the station, take the camera off
- Press the button thingie
- At all other times, do not press the button thingie
Why do I think of Ronald Reagan at this moment? Because I wish his ghost could come roaring back into the contract negotiations and fire some cops and cop management. Apparently NYPD’s offering a 1% salary bump to cops that are willing to do their jobs as mandated by a federal judge. The thing about this that’s bizzare is that NYC cops have been negotiating contracts since 2012. And the union has been digging its heels in over things like stop-and-frisk, being expected to comply with federal law, etc. I’m sure that no conservatives’d mind if the Republican Saint Reagan’s approach was used to move the contract negotiations along. If it’s taken since 2012 to hammer out the contract, that’s 4 years that could have been spent hiring a new police force in parallel.
(* If you don’t have anything to hide, why do you care if we monitor you?)
 New York Post: NYPD Body Camera Program Delayed At Least Six Months
New York Post: City to Pay Cops More to Wear Body Cameras