The New York Police Department will begin equipping a small number of its officers with wearable video cameras, a pilot program geared toward eventually outfitting the nation’s largest police force with technology that promises greater accountability.

A total of 60 cameras will be deployed in the coming months in five high-crime police precincts, one in each of the city’s five boroughs, Commissioner William J. Bratton said on Thursday.

“It is the next wave,” Mr. Bratton said at Police Headquarters with two officers who wore the small cameras on their uniforms. He likened the introduction of cameras to the rollout, decades before, of hand-held police radios whose crackling codes and blips are now a quintessential part of policing everywhere.

The Axon Flex, an advanced body camera form Taser, can be clipped to an officer’s sunglasses, hat, helmet or epaulettes, and captures a wide-angle view that is close to what an officer sees while on patrol.State of the Art: Police Cameras Can Shed Light, but Raise Privacy ConcernsAUG. 20, 2014

A federal judge last year ordered the department to test the cameras for one year in five precincts as a way of evaluating their effectiveness in curbing unconstitutional stop-and-frisk interactions by officers. The court ordered an independent monitor to help set the policy for the cameras, though that order has been delayed pending an appeal.

Mr. Bratton said the department was proceeding “independent of the order” because the subject is “too important to wait.” The announcement also comes in advance of federal guidelines on body cameras worn by the police, expected to be released by the Justice Department in the coming weeks.

The cameras, which attach to the uniforms officers wear on patrol, can offer visual evidence in he-said-she-said encounters between the police and the public. Calls for all officers to wear them have grown after the fatal shooting by a white officer of an unarmed black teenager in Ferguson, Mo., last month.

Darius Charney, a lawyer for the plaintiffs in the stop-and-frisk case, criticized the department’s plans to move ahead on the cameras unilaterally.

“This kind of unilateral decision on the part of the N.Y.P.D. is part of the same uncollaborative, nontransparent, go-it-alone approach to police reform we saw with the prior N.Y.P.D. and mayoral administration,” Mr. Charney, of the Center for Constitutional Rights, said in an email.

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