Hopewell Township Police to Use Body Worn Cameras

Hopewell Township Police to Use Body Worn Cameras

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On or about March 16, 2017, Hopewell Township police officers will begin utilizing body worn cameras to record audio and visual interactions between police and citizens. 

Patrol and Traffic Officers will be wearing a WatchGuard Vista camera on their chest, on the outermost garment of their uniform. The cameras are black in color and are about three inches in length and two inches in width. A red light on the camera will be illuminated when the device is recording. The camera may be activated by the emergency lights and siren being engaged in the patrol car or it may be activated manually by the officer pushing the record button on the camera.

The cameras will provide a means to preserve visual evidence and verbal statements assisting in the prosecution of court cases. The periodic review of body worn camera footage by administrators will also ensure quality control and assist in citizen complaint investigations.

The body worn cameras will be used in compliance with New Jersey State Attorney General Guidelines.

A portion of the cost of the cameras is being covered by a grant secured through the Mercer County Prosecutor’s Office and the New Jersey State Attorney General’s Office.

1 COMMENT

  1. I think this is an excellent idea! Having audio and video proof of a traffic stop, or any other infraction that the police have to deal with on a daily basis, will eliminate any discrepancies in just exactly what went down during the altercation. All you have to do is look at what happened in Princeton a while back when a Princeton police officer pulled over Imani Perry for speeding and doing 63 mph in a 25 mph zone. She claimed that the police treated her “inappropriately and disproportionately”, and that they “lied about her arrest”, plus all the racial bias she claimed they inflicted upon her. However, the police had recorded the entire incident from start to finish, and once they published the audio and video, it turns out that they were nothing but cordial and nice to her. If that audio and video evidence was not there, then who knows if the police officer that pulled her over, or the officers who took care of her once she arrived at the police station, would have been fired, or sued, or who knows what. And it can work the other way around too. With audio and video evidence, it will ensure that our police officers will tow the line, so to speak, and make sure they treat every citizen with respect because they will know they are being recorded. If they don’t, then just roll the tape and we will see what actually happened!

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