Tuesday, 18 December, 2018

New York Police Department halts use of bodycams after 1 explodes

An NYPD officer wears an older Vievu body cam model. On Sunday a Vievu LE-5 An NYPD officer wears an older Vievu body cam model. On Sunday a Vievu LE-5"burst into flames."Image Andrew Burton Getty Images
Pablo Mccormick | 22 October, 2018, 15:59

In a statement, an NYPD spokeswoman said, "Nothing is more important than the safety of our officers, and equipping the NYPD with the best equipment is a paramount priority".

The NYPD pulled almost 3,000 body cameras after one exploded, police said.

The New York City Police Department has reportedly pulled almost 3,000 body cameras from officers after one of them exploded while an officer was wearing it.

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Police are now investigating the exploding battery.

As a result, the department has suspended the use and distribution of the LE-5 model cameras effective immediately, police said.

An officer picked up his body camera during the midnight shift early Sunday at the 121 Precinct on Staten Island and noticed there was smoke coming from the bottom of it. There were no injuries sustained.

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As for what caused the Vievu camera to catch fire, the NYPD believes the "incident revealed a potential for the battery inside the camera to ignite", but is now investigating.

Officers who had been assigned the LE-5 cameras were told to immediately remove the devices and hand them in.

NY1 reported that there are 2,990 of the Vievu LE5 in use in 16 precincts across the city. "We are working closely with the NYPD to investigate this issue", a spokesperson said.

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More than 15,000 body cameras - which have also grown in use by emergency services in the United Kingdom in recent years - are deployed throughout the department. "We will do whatever is necessary to quickly and safely resolve this situation", it told the news site Engadget.

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