According to Attorney General Gurbir Grewal, all New Jersey State Troopers will be wearing body cameras by the middle of next year. The gear will be paid for using $1.5 million in criminal forfeiture funds.
Grewal said that when law enforcement officers and citizens know their encounters are being recorded, they behave better, adding that there may be millions of those interactions in the state each year. “And they are 99.9 percent positive, so we invite the scrutiny. It is those out-of-context cellphone videos that sometimes paint a negative picture of an interaction,” said Grewal.
State Police Superintendent Patrick Callahan said most troopers welcome the use of body cameras, and they’re already accustomed to having cameras mounted in their cruisers.
“I tell the troopers when I’m with them, ‘You’re on camera anyway, whether it’s a store camera or somebody holding a smartphone,’” said Callahan. “So let’s show things from our perspective and capture the entire encounter.”
Callahan said while body cameras are a good tool, a police officer’s training on how to treat the public is what can really make a difference.
on WHYY News, a content partner of NJ Spotlight.