City and State politicians are calling on the NYPD to make footage gathered from a pilot body-camera program accessible to the general public.

The News reports that Public Advocate Letitia James, along with Senator Daniel Squadron and Assemblyman Dan Quart, recently sent a letter to the NYPD's federal monitor Peter Zimroth prompting a sit-down meeting with Zimroth and NYPD Commissioner Bill Bratton to discuss the possibility.

Under current law, the NYPD deems the disclosure of body camera footage an invasion of personal privacy.

"We're going into your homes. We are going into your residences. We are going to businesses. We are encountering situations. I think it has to be a lot more specific than some of these blanket releases [of body camera footage] people are asking for," Sgt. Joseph Freer told NY1 in August.

"Most of this footage, at least from the pilot camera project... will not be in the public domain."

NY1 reports that its own attempt to FOIL five weeks of unedited footage from the first five months of the pilot was denied. The NYPD offered to provide edited video—for $36,000.

Politicians' recent call for transparency coincides with a proposed expansion of the city's 60-camera program. NY1 reports that the city is accepting bids from tech companies to buy up to 5,000 cameras in a deal that wouldn't expire until 2020.

"As our City expands the use of police body cameras, we must avoid half-measures that would undermine real reform," said James in a statement. "The public has demanded transparency and accountability in our criminal justice system, and we cannot settle for anything less."

James has been an advocate for NYPD body cameras since last summer, when Eric Garner's death at the hands of a police officer, using an illegal chokehold, compelled Commissioner Bratton to pledge to retrain his entire department.

The Public Advocate released a report last August, detailing that it would cost about $5 million to test body cameras on 15% of the city's police force. Outfitting the entire department with cameras would cost about $32 million.

The NYPD's body camera pilot program rolled out in December 2014, outfitting a handful of officers in one precinct per borough—specifically, precincts with the highest concentration of stop and frisks.

"This pilot program will provide transparency, accountability, and protection for both the police officers and those they serve, while reducing financial losses for the city," Mayor de Blasio said in a joint statement with the Public Advocate at the time.

Commissioner Bratton, however, has stressed the expense of implementing body cameras. In addition to the cost of the cameras themselves, he has cited the high cost of storing their footage. Last fall he described the storage needs as "phenomenal," and said that the city would need to decide when footage might be legally deleted.

According to Comptroller Scott Stringer's office, payments from lawsuits and claims filed against the NYPD increased almost 31% between 2008 and 2013 to $137.2 million. And Bratton himself has argued that the presence of a body camera might help deescalate confrontations between cops and civilians.

Just last month, the city paid $70,000 to a Staten Island resident after he filed a suit alleging the NYPD allowed footage of him being beaten by officers to be erased.

This August, Squadron and Quart introduced legislation that would make body camera recordings accessible to the public through Freedom of Information Law (FOIL) requests.

New York's Civil Rights Law protects personnel records from being requested through a FOIL process, and body camera recordings fall into this category. The new legislation would designate body camera footage as accessible via FOIL, albeit with the blurring of individual's identifying features.

Granted, when it comes to the NYPD, permission to FOIL is often less than half the battle.

Last month, Commissioner Bratton told NY1 that body camera footage, like 911 calls, would "likely" never be made public.

This prompted a swift response from James. "We fought to bring body-worn cameras to the NYPD to restore transparency and accountability to our criminal justice system," she told the News. "It defies logic to keep the footage from these cameras hidden from the press and the public."

Earlier comments aside, the News reports that Bratton recently expressed his willingness to comply with the federal monitor's opinion on the matter.

"I am encouraged by the swift response from Mr. Zimroth, and look forward to working with him to make sure New York City gets this body camera program right," said James in a statement.