The NYPD has launched a program outfitting officers with body cameras to record their interactions with the public. NY1's Dean Meminger filed the following report.

Officers from the 34th Precinct rolled out of their stationhouse Thursday afternoon wearing body cameras, the first officers in the city to take part in a pilot program evaluating the devices.

The mayor says the cameras are a plus for officers and people they encounter.  

"There is going to be a moment where we are going to ask you some questions, raise a concern. But it is all going to be captured," Bill de Blasio said. "I think for a lot of New Yorkers, that is going to be truly reassuring." 

Fifty officers from the 34th Precinct will wear the cameras. By year's end, about 1,000 officers from 20 precincts will have them.

A federal judge ordered the program when she ruled that black and Latino men were being unconstitutionally stopped and frisked by the NYPD.

"We are telling people that we are recording them. This way, everybody knows. And just act accordingly. If there is a car stop, everybody acts professionally," said Police Commissioner James O'Neill. "That is the beauty of body-worn cameras. They are a de-escalator for everybody."

Officers are supposed to activate the cameras whenever they think they are encountering a suspicious person or scene. But critics say officers still have too much discretion in when to use them. Officials say the pilot program will teach them what changes are needed. 

"The officers get to go like this," said Nancy Hoppock, deputy commissioner of the NYPD Risk Management Bureau. "The camera does it, but in many of these cases, criminal cases, the video is going to shed a lot of light and maybe be the best evidence." 

There's also the question of if and when the public will get to see the videos recorded by officers. The city says if there is a criminal case or a civilian complaint against an officer, the videos will be released. But not every hour of every video will be made public or given to the media especially when it comes to people's privacy. 

"We have to protect the people we serve in more ways than one, and some of that is being careful with this footage because we are seeing very painful moments of people's lives," Hoppock said.

The NYPD plans to have all 22,000 patrol officers wear the cameras by the end of 2019.