Monday, March 11, 2013

Body Cameras For Roosevelt Island Public Safety Officers On Agenda For RIOC Operations Committee Meeting Today - Are Body Cameras A Good Idea?

The Roosevelt Island Operating Corp (RIOC) Operations Advisory Committee is meeting later today. The sole Agenda Item is a presentation on the use of body cameras for Public Safety Officers. According to RIOC

PLEASE TAKE NOTICE that a meeting of the Operations Advisory Committee of the RIOC Board of Directors will be held on Monday, March 11, 2013 at 4:30 p.m. at the RIOC administrative office, 591 Main Street, Roosevelt Island, New York.


1. Presentation from TASER on Axon Flex Body Cameras

The Open Meetings Law of the State of New York requires that all public bodies conduct meetings, convened for the purpose of officially conducting public business, in a manner open to attendance by the general public to observe and listen.
More on the use of body cameras by Modesto California police officers in this video.

WNYC reported on the proposed use of body cameras by the Roosevelt Island Public Safety Department:
Roosevelt Island is planning to put body-mounted cameras on their public safety officers.

This follows an incident in January in which a 20-year-old man was allegedly beaten by the officers, and years of what residents say is excessive use of force by their public safety department....
... But Eugene O’Donnell, a professor of police studies at John Jay College, says that what works for some police departments might not be the right solution for Roosevelt Island.

“Probably the only thing you’d be offering with a camera is a chance to stop gross abuses and misconduct rather than creating a culture where courtesy and service and professionalism were at the center of what was going on,” said O’Donnell. “So it’s sort my view, the backward approach to a problem.”

O'Donnell says recruitment, training and oversight are the first things that need to be addressed for Roosevelt Island’s Public Safety Department....
Click here for the entire WNYC article and listen to report below.

More on Public Safety body cameras and brutality allegations from previous posts.

An audio web cast of the Operations Committee meeting will be available soon thereafter.

Following the Operations Committee meeting, the RIOC Audit Committee will meet. According to RIOC:
PLEASE TAKE NOTICE that a meeting of the Audit Committee of the RIOC Board of Directors will be held on Monday, March 11, 2013 at 5:30 p.m. at the RIOC administrative office, 591 Main Street, Roosevelt Island, New York.


1. Discuss Development of a Written Policy Governing the use of RIOC's Discretionary Funds
2. Any Other Committee Business Which May be Brought Before the Committee
An audio web cast of the Audit Committee meeting will be available soon thereafter.

UPDATE 9:30 PM -  According to Taser:
Testimony is Interesting. Video is Compelling.

Improves behavior of all parties during police interactions.

Reduces false complaints and lawsuits by accurately capturing video from the officer’s perspective.

Saves time and increases efficiency – officers spend more time on patrol with automated workflows that reduce administrative workload.

Pre-event video buffer yields the greatest reduction in complaints and lawsuits when actions leading up to the incidents are recorded.

Low light recording best shows what the human eye actually sees.

Enhances public trust and creates safer communities at a lower cost.
Below is the Roosevelt Island Body Camera presentation by Taser's Josh Isner to RIOC Operations Advisory Committee earlier today.

Part 1

and Part 2.


Mark Lyon said...

Taser makes a decent police camera, but I strongly prefer the WolfCom Third Eye.

The Taser camera ( ) is more like an expensive Looxcie The other seems purpose built.

wtlong said...

With all due respect to Mark Lyon's technical expertise, cameras are not the solution to the problems with the PSD. Better oversight by the RIOC Board, better management at the PSD itself and better training and discipline of PSD officers is a better solution.

Mark Lyon said...

Cameras are not going to solve the PSD's issues, but they could go a long way toward reminding officers that their actions are being monitored, provide documentary evidence to protect RIOC and the public, and have the potential to bring some measure of transparency (which has been sorely lacking).

wtlong said...

Mark, with respect, if a PSD officer doesn't understand /when he takes the job/ that he's not supposed to beat a handcuffed suspect, then there's been a fundamental breakdown in hiring, training and management. In that case, a camera isn't going to make much difference. We don't need evidence, we need for that not to happen.

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