Home News All body-worn cameras removed after one ignites, injures captain

All body-worn cameras removed after one ignites, injures captain

The city Department of Correction temporarily pulled over 3,000 body-worn cameras offline after a camera caught fire and injured a correction captain, a department spokeswoman said Saturday, May 4, 2024. (Todd Maisel/New York Daily News/TNS)

Graham Rayman and Emma Seiwell
New York Daily News

NEW YORK — The city Department of Correction temporarily pulled almost 3,500 body-worn cameras after one caught fire and injured a correction captain, the department said Saturday.

The captain was on duty in the George R. Vierno Center on Rikers Island Friday when her Reveal Media D5 body-worn camera spontaneously ignited, said department press secretary Annais Morales.

Medics brought the captain to Mount Sinai Hospital where she was treated for smoke inhalation and released, Morales said.

“The safety of our staff is paramount, which is why I am removing all body-worn cameras from the service out of an abundance of caution while we investigate how and why this incident occurred,” Correction Commissioner Lynelle Maginley-Liddie said in a statement.

Maginley-Liddie issued the department-wide order Saturday afternoon, ordering supervisors to collect the 3,480 body-worn cameras worn by uniformed staff, and to store them in a control room.

“That’s all this is for — the safety of our officers and all staff is paramount,” said Correction Officers’ Benevolent Association spokesman, Michael Skelly.

Morales said the department is in contact with the camera manufacturer to investigate the cause of the malfunction. Reveal Media could not be immediately reached for comment Saturday evening.

The investigation is expected to take one to two weeks, Morales said. In the meantime, uniformed staff members have been ordered to “ensure that all serious incidents and refusals… are documented using a handheld camera in accordance with departmental policy,” as stated in Maginley-Liddie’s memo.

The Federal Monitor, which oversees city jails, was notified of the malfunction and the department’s decision to suspend body-worn camera use, Morales said.

Friday’s incident was the first the department has seen since they began using body-worn cameras in 2015, Morales said. All uniformed officers wear the cameras.

The New York Police Department pulled 2,000 Axon AB2 body-worn cameras offline for inspection after a cop at the 34th Precinct in Inwood noticed smoke coming out of one 2021, police said. The cop removed it, and it “ignited,” according to a memo released at the time.

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