Newark, NJ- A federal grant awarded to the New Jersey State Attorney General’s office will be distributed to several municipalities to purchase body cameras for law enforcement officers. Three towns in Essex County will receive the funds to support dozens of cameras.
Attorney General Christopher S. Porrino’s office recently distributed $566,000 in federal funds to 37 jurisdictions throughout the state to purchase the body cameras. North Jersey.com reports that since 2015, the state has been awarded roughly $4.5 million in federal grants to purchase body cameras with funding going to more than 240 law enforcement agencies across the state.
The $15,000 in funds distributed to Essex County will go to police forces in Nutley, Verona and Cedar Grove and will be used to cover the costs of 30 body cameras, according to North Jersey.com.
Body cameras are becoming more common for police forces across the U.S. because they capture the interactions between police and citizens. Footage from body cameras can be beneficial for individuals and officers during traffic stops and arrests because it eliminates much doubt about what occurred. When there is video footage, the age old problem of “He said, she said,” is often alleviated.
A University of South Florida study, published in April 2016, examined the impact body cameras had on exchanges between civilians and officers.
Researchers analyzed 12 months of data from the Orlando Police Department and found that wearing a body camera had a significant impact on the behavior of officers and civilians. Data showed that use of force complaints, referred to as “response to resistance” complaints, dropped 56 percent for officers outfitted with a camera. There were significant decreases in injuries to civilians and officers when the engaged officer is wearing a body camera. Additionally, officers participating in the study who wore a body camera told researchers wearing a body camera helped to de-escalate conflicts between themselves and the people they detain.
Purchasing body cameras and storing the footage they capture is costly, but the cameras are becoming more prevalent in New Jersey and across the country. When you are pulled over or engaged by a police officer, you have rights that protect you from being mistreated or wrongfully arrested. However, there is no guarantee that every law enforcement officer will respect those rights and proper procedures. Body cameras are a good check on police by safeguard the rights of citizens from abusive police, and they protect police from false accusations of excessive use of force and misconduct.
If you are facing criminal charges, footage from body cameras can provide valuable evidence in your defense. When you retain me to work on your case, you can be confident I will seek out every piece of evidence relevant to your defense, evaluate it and work with you to develop a defense strategy. You can be confident that I will use my knowledge and experience to strengthen your case. I will take every possible step to help you avoid conviction. Call my Newark office at (973) 453-2009 and set up a short case evaluation if need help with criminal charges in Elizabeth, Jersey City or Newark.