The state Senate Law and Public Safety Committee today passed S-3089, which would enable a supplemental appropriation of $58 million to establish a New Jersey Statewide Body Worn Camera (BWC) program to support police departments in purchasing this equipment. As part of the bill passage, the committee approved an additional $30 million appropriation, for a $88 million total.
Senator Joseph Cryan (D-20) – the former sheriff of Union County – sponsored the bill and backed the amendment advanced by Chair Senator Linda Greenstein (D-14).
“We’ve worked on body cameras in this committee but there was not a funding source,” Greenstein said.
The bill and its supplement moved out of committee with bipartisan support.
From the bill:
BWCs consist of a mobile video recording system worn by a law enforcement officer. Due to ongoing incidents between police and communities nationwide, law enforcement agencies throughout the State are searching for sources of funding to purchase BWC equipment for law enforcement officers to ensure accurate documentation of both the citizen and the officer during an interaction.
The cost for BWC equipment varies. The cost includes not only the one time purchase of the equipment, but also includes maintenance, data storage, oversight, and replacement due to wear and tear.