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New NYPD contract requires cops to wear body cams by 2019

NYPD Officer Joshua Jones demonstrates how to use

NYPD Officer Joshua Jones demonstrates how to use and operate a body camera during a news conference Dec. 3, 2014 in Manhattan. Credit: Getty Images / Andrew Burton

The NYPD’s largest police officer union has reached a $1.88 billion tentative deal with the de Blasio administration that increases the average rank-and-file officer’s salary by 11.73 percent and requires all patrol cops to wear body cameras by 2019.

The average member of the Patrolmen’s Benevolent Association will get $12,235 in retroactive pay under the deal, which covers 2012 through July 31, 2017, de Blasio labor negotiators said Tuesday.

By the end of the contract, the average officer’s salary will rise from $63,580 to $73,874, before overtime. That does not include a 2.25 percent bump starting March 15, a bonus the administration said is being given because the city is requiring officers to perform so-called neighborhood policing.

The higher salary will be offset by lower salaries for newly hired officers, the officials said.

Mayor Bill de Blasio and Patrolmen’s Benevolent Association President Patrick Lynch announced the deal Tuesday at City Hall. The last contract expired in 2010, and the city won an arbitration for two years afterward.

If the contract is ratified, about 99 percent of the city’s municipal workforce will be under negotiated contract — up from 0 percent when de Blasio took office in 2014.

The announcement represented a detente between the union and the de Blasio administration. The union had picketed the mayoral residence, Gracie Mansion, and his gym, the Park Slope YMCA, and other events, to protest the failure to strike a deal.

“There’s always a natural tension between management and the union and labor. It’s our job to make sure we’re standing up for our members. Sometimes we do that by agreeing. Sometimes we disagree. Sometimes we shake hands. Sometimes we poke each other,” Lynch said.

De Blasio described the 2.25 percent bonus as a “differential” for doing neighborhood policing. The differential will go to all of the roughly 23,000 members of the PBA, including those who aren’t tasked with neighborhood policing.

De Blasio hailed the deal as good for taxpayers and officers alike. “I think this is something that is healthy for the city of New York,” he said.

The issue of body cameras has come to the fore amid a national reckoning about policing and the communities officers serve. The city is under orders from a federal court to undertake a pilot program to outfit officers with cameras.

Under an understanding with the union, de Blasio said, rules such as when an officer must keep the camera on and how footage will be stored is to be hammered out later.

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