By David Brand
A Queens state senator who has called for police accountability and transparency has a new crusade — ensuring subway cops are equipped with body cameras just like the officers walking the aboveground beat.
State Sen. Jessica Ramos introduced a bill Thursday that would require MTA police officers to wear body cameras capable of both audio and video recording. The transit cops are not required to wear body cameras like their counterparts in the NYPD, even though they have many of the same responsibilities.
“It is imperative that all law enforcement officials abide by the same standards when actively patrolling members of our communities,” Ramos said.
The state has concentrated hundreds of additional MTA police officers in the subway system in recent months as part of an effort to cut down on fare evasion and crack down on homelessness.
MTA spokesperson Tim Minton said the state agency, which controls the city’s subway system, intends to “pursue the use of body cameras, which are a valuable policing tool, for all MTA officers and we have been bargaining on this important issue with our labor union about implementation.”
MTA Chairman and CEO Patrick Foye said he is “personally in favor of cameras.”
“I think they are good for safety and they're good for transparency,” Foye said in a statement.
The body cam bill is the latest effort by Ramos to pull back the curtain on police encounters.
Earlier this month, she confronted police union officials at a forum on the state’s 50-a law shields disciplinary records — and at times, body camera footage — from public review. Ramos has advocated for the state to repeal the opaque measure.
The PBA did not respond to a request for comment.