Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly told The Associated Press that the nation’s largest police force will launch a pilot project to videotape interrogations in two of the department’s 76 precincts within six months.
Advocates of the practice, including the American Bar Association, say it will reduce allegations that detectives use coercion to break a suspect. They also claim it will help detect false confessions.
But the NYPD plan could meet with resistance from the Detective Endowment Association, which represents about 5,500 detectives on the nation’s largest police force. DEA President Michael Palladino said the videotapes could teach criminals’ the NYPD’s time-tested interrogation techniques.
“I think in a department this size, the cons outweigh the pros,” Palladino said.
For years, state prosecutors in the city have videotaped confessions at police precincts and used them at trial. The NYPD had claimed that taping the questioning that sometimes results in those confessions was too costly and cumbersome in a department that averages 400,000 arrests a year.
But Kelly said the department recently determined digital technology has made the taping and storing of video efficient enough that it could afford a pilot program. The department does not yet have a cost estimate for the program.
“It’s been a practice in other jurisdictions,” Kelly said. “We thought it would be appropriate to test it here.”
Read the rest of the Tom Hays’ AP story at the N.Y. Post.