Here’s how NJ lawmakers plan to get cops body cameras after Gov. Murphy veto

Stacey Barchenger | October 29, 2020 | NorthJersey.com |

Top New Jersey lawmakers have pledged to put up the money to get more police officers body-worn cameras and overcome a setback in the form of a conditional veto from Gov. Phil Murphy last week.

The state Senate on Thursday agreed with changes suggested in Murphy’s conditional veto of a bill, S1163, that requires the cameras for all uniformed officers. The same day lawmakers in the Senate and Assembly introduced a bill that would address the governor’s main concern — how to pay for the cameras.

The bill, S3089, earmarks $58 million for a NJ Statewide Body Worn Camera Program. A copy of that bill has not yet been made publicly available, so many details are not yet known.

But the bill has the backing of leaders in each chamber of the Legislature, a sign that it may sail through the Legislative process.

Senate President Stephen Sweeney, D-Gloucester, and Assembly Speaker Craig Coughlin, D-Middlesex, put out a joint statement supporting the funding bill.

“We think it’s extremely important for the public and, honestly, the police to be protected by having body cameras,” Sweeney said after the Senate session Thursday. “A picture is worth a thousand words. A lot of people can say a lot of things, but when you have the camera on you, it’s pretty hard to make it something different.”

 

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