Sun Editorial: Smile, you’re on camera!
New Jersey State Police are spending $1.5 million to outfit 1,000 troopers over the next nine months with body cameras. It’s a hefty price to pay for technology, but a very small one when considering the good it will do.
Body cameras for police have become increasingly popular throughout the country following police shootings that made national headlines in places such as Ferguson, Mo.
Troopers will wear the body cameras on either their shirt or their hat, and will be required to turn them on during traffic stops, protests, investigations and while making arrests.
Acting state Attorney General John Hoffman said the cameras “will act as an objective witness in police-involved shootings and other use-of-force incidents.”
Some local police departments, such as Glassboro, Paulsboro, Evesham and even Rowan University, have already adopted body cameras for their police forces. And more could be coming, as the state plans to use $2.5 million in forfeiture funds to help other local departments buy cameras.
Police body cameras are a wonderful idea, and any state money that can be used to help local departments outfit their officers with them is a good thing.
The safety and security of the people of New Jersey are of the utmost importance, above all other concerns of living in our state. Any initiative that improves that safety and security — while at the same time serving as an objective judge for citizens and officers — is something that should be explored and implemented.