If we've learned anything from Hipster Cop, it's that even the NYPD isn't immune to shifting fashion trends. To that end, the NYPD is reportedly experimented with outfitting its officers with Google Glass. "We signed up, got a few pairs of the Google glasses, and we're trying them out, seeing if they have any value in investigations, mostly for patrol purposes," a law enforcement official told VentureBeat. "We're looking at them, you know, seeing how they work."
A Google spokesman was adamant that the company wasn't working directly with law enforcement in any capacity, insisting that the NYPD probably acquired the glasses through the Google Glass Explorer program, just like all the other glassholes who have one. "The Google Glass Explorer program includes people from all walks of life, including doctors, firefighters and parents. Anyone can sign up to become a Glass Explorer, provided he or she is a U.S. resident and over the age of 18,” they said in a statement.
Vincent Cannistraro, a former ranking clandestine operator with the CIA, told VentureBeat that he doubted that Glass would be useful for cops, but the NYPD source noted, "We think it could help impact patrol operations in New York City. We shall see." That's one possible reason for it—but another is that the NYPD may finally be looking into Judge Shira Scheindlin's suggestion that the NYPD adopt body-mounted cameras to monitor officers' encounters with citizens.
Video recordings will serve a variety of useful functions. First, they will provide a contemporaneous, objective record of stops and frisks, allowing for the review of officer conduct by supervisors and the courts. The recordings may either confirm or refute the belief of some minorities that they have been stopped simply as a result of their race, or based on the clothes they wore, such as baggy pants or a hoodie. Second, the knowledge that an exchange is being recorded will encourage lawful and respectful interactions on the part of both parties.
Third, the recordings will diminish the sense on the part of those who file complaints that it is their word against the police, and that the authorities are more likely to believe the police. Thus, the recordings should also alleviate some of the mistrust that has developed between the police and the black and Hispanic communities, based on the belief that stops and frisks are overwhelmingly and unjustifiably directed at members of these communities. Video recordings will be equally helpful to members of the NYPD who are wrongly accused of inappropriate behavior.
Could this be a sign of the NYPD taking the ruling, which Mayor de Blasio has vowed to uphold, seriously? Or is this just the next step toward the sound of every phone on this planet ringing in unison?