Legislation A-4271, sponsored by Assembly members Cleopatra Tucker (D-Essex), and Herb Conaway (D-Burlington); and A-4312, sponsored by Assemblywomen Verlina Reynolds-Jackson (D-Mercer, Middlesex), Shavonda Sumter (D-Bergen, Passaic), and Cleopatra Tucker).
“Police body cameras have become an essential part of community policing today. They aim to ensure accountability for any actions which take place during a police stop, whether it is by the officer or a resident,” said Assembly members Cleopatra Tucker (D-Essex), and Herb Conaway (D-Burlington), Verlina Reynolds-Jackson (D-Mercer, Middlesex), Shavonda Sumter (D-Bergen, Passaic), the sponsors of A-4271 and A-4312. “Tensions surrounding community policing escalated after the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis. The distrust between communities of color and law enforcement was once again highlighted in the national spotlight. A body camera is only one way of ensuring greater transparency and accountability for law enforcement, and to rebuilding community relations; however, it will be a uniquely powerful tool in getting there.”
“We’ve made it clear that New Jersey will be second-to-none in enacting vital reforms to promote transparency and boost public confidence in law enforcement,” said Governor Murphy. “Body worn cameras are a wise all-around investment in public safety that not only redouble our commitment to transparency and accountability, but also ensure that members of law enforcement are equipped with an important tool to help them carry out their sworn duties. Today represents another step down what we know is a long road to full understanding and lasting trust between law enforcement and the communities they serve.”
“Today is a great day for New Jersey law enforcement and the communities we serve. The statewide implementation of body worn cameras represents an important step in strengthening the bonds of trust between police departments and communities while fostering greater transparency and accountability,” said Colonel Patrick J. Callahan, Superintendent of the New Jersey State Police. “The New Jersey State Police has learned that recording interactions with the public from patrol vehicles for the last two decades has been a valuable asset in protecting both our citizens and our troopers alike. The addition of body worn camera technology is yet another layer of protection for our men and women in law enforcement and the communities they serve.”