New Police Capt. Leans Towards Body Cameras,
Backs Putting Cops Back on the Beat
By Michael Horowitz
BRONX, NEW YORK, (BRONX NEWS)- The new captain of the 45th Police Precinct said that she is leaning toward supporting body cameras for the city’s police officers.
Capt. Danielle Raia said that her inclination is to support having police officers videotape their encounters with potential criminals, but that the idea needs further study before it is implemented in New York City.
The new commanding officer for the 45th Precinct stressed that she was expressing her personal views on the issue of body camera for police officers, rather than an initiative that the NYPD is currently planning to implement.
“I can see the pros and cons on this issue,” Capt. Raia stressed. “What I’m really saying is that the issue needs further study, but that body camera have considerable merit even though there could be some problems with the use of the body cameras.”
Those in the NYPD who support body cameras for police officers have contended that they would help to eliminate confusion over whether an officer may have used excessive force or acted inappropriately while doing his or her job.
Those opposed to the body cameras have argued that photographing encounters with police could lead to misinterpretations and differing views in police encounters even though the cameras are supposed to lead to factually based recordings.
Those opposed to the body cameras have also contended that they would inhibit police work by appearing to tie the hands of patrol officers.
The commanding officer of the 45th Precinct counts herself as among NYPD Commissioner William Bratton’s biggest boosters. Raia said that she especially approved of Bratton’s efforts to open up lines of communication between NYPD officers and the people who live and work in the city’s neighborhoods.
Bratton has indicated, in recent weeks that he wants to bring back something like the Neighborhood Police Teams from the 1970s. The focus of this thrust was for officers to walk beats in the communities and get to know the people in the city’s neighborhoods and the crime related concerns that these neighborhoods confronted.
“As I understand it, the new community policing thrust will not focus on police officers walking beats, but it will focus on officers interacting with people in community in an effort to develop intelligence and gain a better understanding of the issues that are important to the people in communities who we serve,” Capt. Raia noted.
The commanding officer of the 45th Precinct stressed that pilot programs emphasizing community policing are being developed in anticipation of their rollout in the not-too-distant future.
“We, at the 45th Precinct, will not have one of the pilot programs, but I’m very interested in seeing how they work out,” Capt. Raia noted. “The whole idea of community policing is a good one, but it needs a bit more study within the context of today’s world.”
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