New Jersey bill would equip police cars with cameras

By Keith Goble, Land Line state legislative editor | 6/17/2013

If a New Jersey state lawmaker gets his way, all police cars in the state would come with dash cams.

Assemblyman Paul Moriarty, D-Gloucester/Camden, is working on a bill following his arrest a year ago for drunken driving and other charges. All charges were later dropped after law enforcement reviewed dashboard camera video from the officer’s car.

According to published reports, Officer Joseph DiBuonaventura now faces multiple charges related to falsifying information about the July 2012 traffic stop. He was suspended without pay from the Washington Township Police Department.

“Without that dashboard camera, who knows how my case would have proceeded, and that’s a scary thought,” Moriarty said in prepared remarks. “... I now want to make sure everyone in New Jersey eventually gets that same benefit and ability to protect their rights.”

Currently, all state police cruisers come equipped with cameras. However, municipal police vehicles do not.

The bill would require all municipal police vehicles purchased, leased or acquired after the rule takes effect to be equipped with cameras.

“This is the right thing to do for everyone,” Moriarty said. “It protects motorists, as it did in my case, but it also would protect police officers from false claims of harassment and abuse.”

To foot the bill for adding cameras, Moriarty wants to add a $25 surcharge on drunken driving fines.

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