New York City suspends bodycams for corrections officers after device catches fire

New York City's Department of Corrections is temporarily suspending the use of body-worn cameras after an employee suffered burns and smoke inhalation last week when hers suddenly caught fire.

The Rikers Island corrections officer, a captain who was not identified, was rushed to Mount Sinai on Friday when her body camera caught fire. The Corrections Department said it was in contact with the camera's manufacturer to investigate the cause of the fire.

Corrections Commissioner Lynelle Maginley-Liddie said in a statement that her thoughts were with the injured officer.

"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," Maginley-Liddie said.

Though this is a first for the Department of Corrections, it is at least the second time since 2018 that a New York City law enforcement officer has had a body camera catch fire.

The NYPD suspended the use of the Vievu model LE-5 body-worn camera in 2018 after an officer discovered his was smoking. According to NBC New York, the camera exploded shortly after the officer removed it from his body and no injuries were reported.

A similar incident occurred with Axon AB2 model cameras in 2021, when an officer also took off the camera when it began to smoke. Axon confirmed at the time it was investigating after the device reportedly overheated, NBC New York reported.

The manufacturer of the device worn by the corrections officer did not immediately reply to a request for comment.

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