Cresskill NJ Police to start using body and dash cameras in 2021
Elmwood Park Police Chief talks about importance of body cameras
Elmwood Park Police Chief Michael Foligno talks about the importance of body cameras on Tuesday, September 15, 2020.
Michael Karas, North Jersey
CRESSKILL – Early next year, all police in the district will wear body cameras and use dash cameras in their patrol cars, which less than a quarter of Bergen County Police Departments were able to accomplish.
Cresskill officers will begin to familiarize themselves with body cameras in November after being trained in the use of on-board cameras. The service has 12 body cameras and seven on-board cameras for 22 agents working in shifts.
Mayor Benedict Romeo said the police department approached him and the borough council to get the equipment.
“It’s a wave of the future and it had to be done, and the chef and deputy chef came to us and recommended it,” Romeo said. “It was something we felt had to be done for the safety of the public and the police department.”
The cameras were first installed in vehicles in February. The ministry did not explain the delay between installation and first use by officers. Cresskill Police Chief Ed Wrixon was unavailable for comment.
The borough purchased from WatchGuard Video the dashboard cameras, body cameras, two sets of body camera clips for each agent, software to draft the footage of anyone that should not be captured on video, and a contract. of service, for a total cost of $ 124,826.
Cresskill will be among the under half of the state’s 537 law enforcement agencies who give body cameras to some or all of their officers, according to the New Jersey attorney general’s office.
The move comes after Gov. Phil Murphy in October vetoed a bill requiring all uniformed patrol officers to wear body cameras, citing concerns about how police departments would bear the cost. The bill was passed by the Legislature in August as residents demanded greater transparency and accountability in law enforcement following the police murder of Minneapolis resident George Floyd in May .
Acquiring the cameras was a nearly two-year process for Cresskill. Equipment research and testing was carried out in 2018 and 2019 to refine options and supplier selections.
WatchGuard, a Texas-based company, was chosen as the supplier for several reasons: It is a state-contracted supplier, its equipment is used by other law enforcement agencies in the State, including the New Jersey State Police, and its bid was lower than competing bids.
Ricardo Kaulessar is a local reporter for NorthJersey.com. For unlimited access to the most important news from your local community, please subscribe or activate your digital account today.
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