Legislation sponsored by Jersey City Assemblyman Charles Mainor (D-31) to equip all police cars in New Jersey with cameras received Senate approval today.
A bill (A-2280) sponsored by Jersey City Assemblyman Charles Mainor (D-31) to equip all police cars in New Jersey with cameras received Senate approval today.
According to a press release from the NJ Assembly Democrats, “every new or used municipal police vehicle purchased, leased or otherwise acquired on or after the bill’s effective date that is primarily used for traffic stops must be equipped with a mobile video recording system.”
Asm. Mainor spoke about the need to bring policing in line with current technology, adding that “having a visual recording of traffic stops protects both law enforcement and motorists against false claims that can have serious repercussions.”
The bill had personal meaning for Gloucester County Assemblyman Paul D. Moriarty (D-4) who was falsely charged with drunken driving and other motor vehicle citations. It was a dashboard camera video from the police officer’s car that proved his innocence.
“Without the dashboard camera, it would have been my word against the officer’s,” said Moriarty. “The video provided definite proof of what transpired and who was telling the truth. This was an experience that no law-abiding resident should have to go through.”
To pay for the bill the current surcharge imposed on persons convicted of driving while intoxicated increased from $100 to $125. The additional $25 surcharge is payable to the state, county or municipal entity that issued the summons, and requires that the money be used for the cost of equipping police vehicles with the recording systems.
The bill passed with bipartisan support in the Senate today after having been passed 48-24-5 last month by the Assembly.
The bill now heads to Gov. Christie’s desk with an uncertain future as a similar bill earlier this year did not receive his signature.