Over half of New Jersey’s police departments currently use police body cameras, and they are looking to increase that percentage. Legislators have already increased the funding for these cameras and are augmenting the expense with redirected federal funds. Though expensive, body cameras are considered an important means of modernizing police work. This could affect criminal charges, so if you need help, contact a New Jersey attorney to help you sort your case.

Photo by Daniel Tafjord on Unsplash

Axion and Free Police Body Cameras for a Year

Taser, the non-lethal weapons company, has changed its name to Axion and has a unique proposal for police departments around the country. They are offering police departments Axion body camera systems for a free trial year. Axion’s stated goal is to help decrease the bureaucracy inherent to police work – rather than writing reports, police can do police work. Video corroboration also helps to bolster the public’s trust in the police, and videos can help reduce human error in reporting. Finally, body cameras help to keep police accountable.

No Perfect Answers

Body cameras don’t always work in defendants’ favor, however. New Jersey has body cam policies in place, but they aren’t all-inclusive. There are a series of situations in which police body cameras must be turned off:

  • Traffic stops;
  • Interrogations;
  • Interviews with witnesses;
  • Arrests;
  • Searches;
  • Police shootouts;
  • Discussions with confidential informants; and
  • Undercover investigations.

Police officers, in other words, have the capacity to turn their body cams on and off. To function, body cams must be turned on, must be charged, and must have space to record on their storage devices. If these details are ignored, body cams’ benefits are voided. To keep body cameras rolling throughout an entire shift, however, would demand huge storage capacities and would result in countless hours of video to slog through.

Walking a Fine Line

There are also privacy concerns involved; officers have to keep their cameras off when entering a house but keep them on during a search. This kind of legal distinction can get tricky. Police have to make snap decisions regarding searches, and if they fail to activate their cameras, their credibility could take a hit. If they’re trigger happy with their body cams, on the other hand, they could end up invading privacy.

Charged with a Crime in New Jersey? Call 732-238-8686 Today for More Information

If you have been charged with a crime in New Jersey, you need an experienced criminal defense attorney. David C. Barry, Attorney at Law can help. Attorney David C. Barry understands the importance of your case, and he has the skill and dedication to fight for your best possible outcome. David will take the time to explain your rights, guide you through the process, and coordinate your comprehensive defense. If you’re facing a criminal charge, you need a skilled criminal defense New Jersey attorney, call David today at 732-238-8686.