July 28, 2015
For Immediate Release
Contact: Bernie Weisenfeld- PIO- GCPO
Re.: NJ County Prosecutor’s president comments on police body cameras
Commenting on the announcement of new funding and guidelines for New Jersey police body cameras, Sean F. Dalton, president of the New Jersey Association of County Prosecutors, said “this is an important step forward for law enforcement and the communities we serve.”
“Law enforcement in New Jersey and throughout the nation is going through an important transitional period in which we need to become more accountable and responsive to residents,” Prosecutor Dalton said. “ It is my hope and belief that most police departments will soon implement a body-worn camera policy which will increase the public’s trust in police interactions.”‘
“Gloucester County already has five departments that have implemented a body-worn camera policy or are in the process of doing so,“ Prosecutor Dalton said. “These are Paulsboro, Glassboro, Rowan University, South Harrison and Greenwich Township. We will encourage other departments to follow their lead as this will enhance the safety of citizens and police.”
The administration of Gov. Christie today said it will spend $1.5 million to provide all State Police troopers on road patrol with body cameras and make $2.5 million in grants available to municipal police departments that wish to buy the cameras on a voluntary basis.
The New Jersey Attorney General’s policy for use of cameras worn by officers is intended to “promote accountability” of police and civilians in encounters as well as address “significant privacy concerns,” Acting Attorney General John Hoffman said. The directive lists activities that will require camera activation, settings in which use of the devices should be limited and rules for deactivating cameras when an undercover officer of confidential informant could be placed in danger.
A second directive announced today makes changes in how New Jersey investigations of police-involved shootings and deadly force incidents are handled, including the requirement that a public statement be issued at the end of such investigations when no charges result.
“These revisions will strengthen our shoot response by ensuring potential conflicts are identified early in the process, to promote fairness and objectivity, as well as requiring the issuance of a public report in cases where it is determined that a crime has not been committed,” Prosecutor Dalton said.