New York City prisons will halt use of body cameras after device caught fire


The New York City Department of Corrections said Sunday that it will temporarily suspend the use of body-worn cameras by its officers after one of the devices caught on fire while in use last week.

The department said one officer needed treatment for burns and smoke inhalation after her body camera caught on fire without warning, while attached to her chest on Friday.

“Our thoughts are with our Captain who was injured in this incident,” Corrections Commissioner Lynelle Maginley-Liddie said in a statement to The Hill. “The safety of our staff is paramount, which is why I am removing all body-worn cameras from service out of an abundance of caution while we investigate how and why this incident occurred.”

The officer was taken to a hospital but not admitted, The New York Post reported, citing a corrections officer union official.

There are just under 3,500 body cameras in use by the department since 2015, Corrections said, describing the incident as completely unique.

An investigation into why the camera caught on fire, which includes contact with the manufacturer, is expected to last one to two weeks, the department said.

The New York Police Department has suspended the use of body cameras twice in the last six years over similar safety concerns, once in 2018 after one caught on fire while in use, and a second time in 2021 after a camera exploded.

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