NYPD officers resistant to wearing body cameras may soon receive a salary bump for their inconvenience.
While over 1,000 officers will be chosen to wear the cameras before all 20,000 NYPD patrol officers are properly outfitted, the chosen few will be testing the cameras as a compliance with a 2013 federal court order.
For the thousand that take part in the camera testing, there may be a silver lining- city negotiators may offer a 1% pay raise for their troubles.
“This is not a negotiation. It’s mediation,” one New York Post source said. “The city’s proposal is vague. The devil, as they say, is in the details- of which there are none.”
City negotiators sprung the bonus idea as part of a series of possible incentives to resolve a contract dispute with the police union powerhouse known as the Patrolmen’s Benevolent Association. However, many in the union feel the offer is a last-ditch attempt by Mayor de Blasio -who is already reviled by police- to resolve contract issues before he runs for re-election.
“De Blasio just wants cops to think he is being nice to them for once,” another source said.
In addition to the body-cam incentive, the city also reportedly offered to pay an extra $2,500 to every cop who works on patrol, with another $750 given to cops with a bachelor’s degree or higher.
However, the mysterious source claims the bonuses will have a lot of caveats.
“There are a lot of clauses that will eliminate cops from getting the bonuses, whether it is because of Civilian Complaint Review Board complaints or if they were in the military and didn’t get to go to college,” the source said.
PBA President Patrick Lynch says the offers just aren’t enough.
“New York City police officers do a difficult and dangerous job, one that is different from the job of any other city worker,” he said in a statement. “Our members remain the lowest-paid police officers in this area. They deserve more than any of the proposals the city has put on the table so far.’’
While police have resisted body cameras across the country, some departments have had better luck than others in implementing them.
While departments such as the Boston Police Department made the program mandatory in lieu of no volunteers, other cities-such as in Cincinnati, Ohio- have asked for pay raises to wear them.
Still, the rise of body cameras represents a tide that seemingly cannot be stopped.
“They are inevitable,” said Eugene O’Donnell, NYPD veteran and professor of law and police studies at John Jay College of Criminal Justice, who added that while “they will usually vindicate the cops…any seasoned street cop knows it will be the end of most self-initiated police work. The stakes are too high.”
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