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South River council accepts state grant application for police body cameras

SOUTH RIVER – The South River Borough Council has approved a resolution accepting the New Jersey Department of Law and Public Safety, Office of the Attorney General, grant for body-worn cameras.

Municipal officials said the borough is committed to transparency, technology advancements and the safety of South River’s police officers and community members.

They said the use of body-worn cameras is a great tool for law enforcement personnel to help fulfill the needs of the police department and the community.

Police Chief Mark Tinitigan said regarding the body-worn camera grant, that was put into law in 2020 and was mandated that on June 1, 2021, that every uniformed patrol officer in New Jersey be equipped with a body-worn camera.

“We got different vendors to come in. We chose Axon and they gave us a quote of $125,000 for 25 cameras. Our portion of the $58 million that was allotted for all the towns in the state was $87,634 that will be used to spend over the next five years in a five-year agreement,” Tinitigan said.

Tinitigan said the grant is not going to cover the $125,000 that was quoted to the police department by Axon, but he said that eventually and hopefully the state will come out with another grant to cover the costs for the cameras.

“We have had the training, but we are not equipped with (the cameras) yet. We are actually at the mercy of the company that came out last week to train a bunch of us and that eventually, you will start seeing body-worn cameras on our officers,” Tinitigan said.

The police department has had body-worn cameras in the past with a different company, Tinitigan said, however, the police department had a problem with several of the cameras so they were returned.

The council accepted the $87,634 grant during a meeting on July 19.

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