Camden County leaders recently led a public forum, at which they received sound advice from local residents about the county police department’s plan to fight crime by providing officers with body cameras.
The informal public forum was held at the Salvation Army Kroc Center on Harrison Avenue in Camden, New Jersey. Sitting among the residents in attendance were Camden County Mayor Dana L. Redd and Camden County Chief of Police J. Scott Thomson.
The forum was considered by many to be a rousing success, facilitating energetic conversations about everything from the specific use of police body cameras to the more general state of relations between local law enforcement and Camden NJ residents.
One of the individuals in attendance was Barry Friedman, the director of New York University School of Law’s Policing Project, which is currently working with local law enforcement and political leaders to facilitate a discussion about the Camden County Police Department’s new policy on body-worn cameras. After the forum was finished, Friedman spoke with the media and said that body cameras are “a good place to start” when it comes to incentivizing better policing and cutting down on instances of police misconduct.
The Policing Project is asking Camden County residents to fill out online surveys so that the voices of people who actually live in the county will be heard. The hope is that residents will feel empowered as they get to help shape the official policy on police body cameras. The Camden County Police Department is expected to consider the survey results before making any final determinations about how the body-worn cameras will be deployed.
Camden County is not alone in considering policies that require police officers to wear body cameras. Other police departments throughout New Jersey, including South Jersey law enforcement agencies, have looked into equipping police officers with body-worn cameras in recent years.
For additional information about the new police body camera policy, view the NJ.com article, “Residents Give N.J. Police an Earful on What’s Captured by Body Cameras.”
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