New Jersey Law Boosts Video Evidence Capture System Adoption
Earlier this fall, New Jersey Governor Chris Christie signed a bill that requires “all municipal police departments to equip newly purchased or leased vehicles that are used primarily for traffic stops with an in-car camera, or equip patrol officers with body cameras as a more affordable option.”
The law was sponsored by Assemblyman Paul Moriarty, who was acquitted of his 2012 DWI arrest because of evidence captured by an in-vehicle camera. The recording showed discrepancies which provided valuable evidence to support Mr. Moriarty. To give agencies the time needed to comply and choose the best solution for their officers, the law will take effect by March 2015.
In-vehicle digital video evidence collection systems have become an increasingly critical tool for law enforcement work. In a recent survey, 77 percent of officers nationwide said they have used video evidence to solve a case or secure a conviction. For New Jersey, the new law means greater access to unbiased and trustworthy video evidence that will lead to improved officer safety, a more efficient justice system and stronger bonds between law enforcement and the community. Benefits of these systems include the following:
- Undisputable, courtroom-ready evidence: Few things are as powerful in a courtroom as clear video evidence capturing a situation as it unfolds. With 360-degree views and zoom/tilt capabilities, HD mobile cameras can provide clear images in and around the vehicle to capture all interactions during an incident.
- Improved officer safety and accountability: Eighty percent of officers feel mobile video systems such as in-car video systems increase accountability. Having clear video evidence builds public trust by presenting an indisputable record of events and provides officers and citizens with an extra sense of security when both parties are aware their interactions are being recorded.
- Streamlined adjudication: Many law enforcement organizations say that because video evidence “speaks for itself.” The availability of video evidence minimizes the amount of time spent in court and reduces the burden on prosecutors. By documenting events as they happen through audio and visual recordings, courtroom proceedings and convictions can be more quickly resolved. Video footage can easily be transferred, stored and shared among agencies so officers spend less time processing courtroom evidence.
- Stronger community relationships: When all officer-citizen interactions are being recorded, this creates an unbiased record of events which serves the community and law enforcement alike. With this record available, officers and agencies are better equipped to respond to complaints and build stronger relationships within their communities. Sixty-two percent of respondents in the recent survey say that the use of video by law enforcement has led to a decrease in unsubstantiated citizen claims.
Systems like Panasonic’s Arbitrator 360° HD are purpose-built for law enforcement, with full HD, 1080p, high-quality video evidence capture; military-tested durability; and streamlined storage, transfer and file management. Learn more at http://us.Panasonic.com/Arbitrator360HD.