TRENTON – Senate President Steve Sweeney and Assembly Speaker Craig Coughlin today announced their support for legislation that will provide State funding to outfit police officers in New Jersey with body cameras.
The funding bill, introduced in the Senate by Senator Joe Cryan, Senate President Sweeney and Senator Shirley Turner, and in the Assembly by Assemblyman Benjie Wimberly, will address the Governor’s concerns by establishing a New Jersey Statewide Body Worn Camera program to aid police departments in purchasing the equipment with a $58 million appropriation.
Senate President Sweeney and Assembly Speaker Coughlin issued the following joint statement:
“Bodycams are an effective tool for providing transparency and accountability for law enforcement and building trusting relations in the communities they serve and protect. They help safeguard the officers and the citizens they interact with by producing an accurate record of their interactions.
“This bill will provide the financing for local law enforcement agencies that don’t have the resources to outfit their officers with this equipment at a time when they are confronting the demands of the continuing public health emergency. The State financial support will be available for the purchase of body-worn cameras for police departments in New Jersey.
“The statewide use of bodycams will be a significant step in achieving reforms that improve the criminal justice system and make real progress in social justice. Public safety and the public’s trust go hand-in-hand.”
The legislative leaders also said that they will accept and vote to approve the Governor’s conditional veto of legislation (S-1163/A-4271) requiring uniformed state, county and municipal law enforcement officers to wear a body camera while acting in performance of their official duties.