Every cop patrolling the city has now been issued a body camera, the NYPD announced Wednesday.
All beat cops, sergeants and lieutenants — some 20,000 of the Finest — are now equipped, making it the largest body-worn-camera rollout in the nation, said officials, adding that the cameras will “strengthen relationships in the communities we serve.”
“Body-worn cameras enhance the safety and accountability of the dedicated men and women of the NYPD while improving their ability to ensure public safety,” said Police Commissioner James O’Neill. “This completed rollout marks a significant milestone for the NYPD.”
The department also has plans to outfit by August 4,000 officers in the Emergency Service Unit, Strategic Response Group and Critical Response Command.
Cops are required to activate the cameras while conducting “investigative and enforcement actions” such as stopping and questioning someone, searching a suspect, issuing a summons or making an arrest.
“If there’s any enforcement actions at all then those cameras should be on,” First Deputy Commissioner Benjamin Tucker said during a press conference at Police Headquarters Wednesday.
“If you get a radio run and you’re headed to a location, you should have that camera on.”
Officers who fail to do so are subject to retraining — while those who intentionally obstruct cameras face potential departmental investigation, according to officials.
The NYPD adopted the technology in 2017 after a federal judge deemed the department’s stop-and-frisk policy unconstitutional and ordered cops to wear cameras in a bid at improving department accountability.
Since then, police have recorded 3.5 million videos, officials said.
Police could not immediately say how many of those videos have been released to the public — or how many officers have been disciplined for improper use of cameras.
The department retains footage for 18 months and then the videos are deleted, authorities said.
New Yorkers got their first look at body-cam footage in September 2017 following the fatal police shooting of emotionally disturbed, 31-year-old Miguel Antonio Richards in The Bronx.
And there have been growing pains — such as the officer who used another cop’s camera to film genitals inside a police station house.
The department had to yank more than 2,900 VIEVU LE-5 body-cam models last fall after one exploded due to a faulty battery.
Since the rollout, police unions have sued the mayor and NYPD to block the release of camera footage under the state’s Civil Rights Law 50-A, which shields officers’ personnel files.
A judge ruled last month that footage can be made public — but the unions have already pledged to appeal.