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NYPD launches plan to interview suspects on film

The New York Police Department wants to begin filming the real-life version of a staple of TV's law-and-order dramas: Detectives grilling suspects.

Police Commissioner Ray 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. 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.

The NYPD had claimed that taping 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.

Brooklyn District Attorney Charles Hynes predicted the taping would hinder attempts by suspects and their attorneys to portray police as abusive or dishonest.

"If it works, it will cut off that avenue of examination," he said.

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