The Hopewell Township Police Department will receive a $69,292 grant for the purchase of 34 new body-worn cameras for officers to wear while on duty.
In addition to the new cameras, the department is exploring cloud-based storage capabilities.
Early adopters of new technology, and with the belief that it would enhance policing, the Hopewell Township Police Department began utilizing body-worn cameras early in 2017 to record audio and video during interactions between police officers and the public. The presence of cameras can improve the performance of officers as well as the conduct of community members, both of whom are aware they are being recorded.
This important advance in policing creates a public record that allows viewing of an incident by the entire community. The cameras also preserve visual evidence and verbal statements, aid in quality control, and assist in resolving citizen complaints.
In November, Gov. Phil Murphy signed legislation that requires every uniformed patrol officer in the state to be equipped with a body-worn camera while on duty. The cameras must be in place by June 1.
The Attorney General’s office is administering the grant program to disburse the $58 million allotted in Governor Murphy’s SFY21 Budget for this purpose. The grant stipulates the funds be used for the purchase of new cameras, and the department will receive a reimbursement of $2,038 for each one, which exceeds the cost of each camera. The program allows the additional funds to be used for related expenses, such as ancillary equipment, mounting clips, and digital recordings storage.
“The Hopewell Township Police Department has been proactive in implementing body-worn camera technology since 2017, and this grant will give us the opportunity to upgrade to new technology and gain additional storage capability. The award will allow us to continue to provide transparency and to strengthen the trust between our police officers and the community we serve at no cost to the Hopewell Township community,” said Lt. Frank Tulko, the officer responsible for the program.
- This information was provided by Hopewell Township.