Police in car video systems

For New Jersey Assemblyman Paul Moriarty, pushing for police car video cameras is more than just something he thinks is right for the state — it’s an issue that hits home thanks to his own personal experience with them.

Moriarty’s Case

In 2012, Moriarty was pulled over on suspicion of drunk driving. Moriarty refused the test, citing that he was afraid the officer could potentially manipulate the results, since he had not been consuming alcohol at all. Moriarty was able to obtain the squad car’s vehicle dash camera, which showed he had not been driving erratically. As a result, the charges against him were dropped, and the officer is now facing 14 charges, including one of falsifying a police report.

Could Become Law in New Jersey

Both chambers of the New Jersey Legislature have agreed to a bill that would require cameras in new police vehicles. Moriarty was lucky in that the squad car that pulled him over was one of nine that was equipped with an in car video system; most of the 41 cars in the department’s fleet were not. Between 2000 and 2003, one of the biggest increases in police car cameras was seen, with the number in use rising from 3,400 to 17,500.

The Benefits are Numerous

If Gov. Chris Christie does not veto the bill, it will become law. There are many benefits to both people and police when the use of in-car video cameras are required. Although decreasing the likelihood of officer misconduct is one benefit, they also help ensure officer safety, and that the police can back up their statements about misbehavior they observe. Additionally, cameras give police the opportunity to observe their own conduct. This can allow them to improve their technique in handling, for example, dangerous situations.

Would you like to see more police car video cameras in use? Let us know in the comments.

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