NJ Governor Chris Christie finally signed into law a bill calling for police patrol vehicles to be equipped with video cameras.
The new law will require all municipal police departments in the State of New Jersey to either equip patrol vehicles with in-car cameras or equip patrol officers with body cameras. The hope is that the footage will help courts “get it right” when deciding DWI cases and traffic matters.
Both the state Assembly and Senate initially passed the bill during the last legislative session, but it was pocket-vetoed by Christie when he failed to respond to the legislation.
In response to the pocket veto, NJ State Assemblyman Paul Moriarty reintroduced the bill; it was quickly approved by both the Assembly and the Senate.
It is no coincidence that Moriarty sponsored both versions of the bill. He has been a big proponent of police cameras ever since his 2012 DWI arrest was captured on an in-car camera. The video footage was used to exonerate Moriarty of the charges and resulted in a dismissal of the case against him.
Moriarty noted that his support for the legislation stemmed not just from his own DWI case but also from a number of “recent controversies” involving law enforcement that were resolved because video footage was available to back up claims of police abuse.
Moreover, Moriarty said that in-car cameras will help the police because the footage they capture can be used to prove the innocence of wrongly accused officers.
The equipment needed to meet the law’s requirements will be funded through a $25 surcharge on all DWI convictions.
For more information, access the NJ.com article entitled “Assemblyman Paul Moriarty’s Police Camera Bill, Inspired by DWI False Arrest, Signed into Law.”