Effective Monday, December 13, 2021, the Collingswood Police Department will begin implementing newly purchased body-worn cameras. The cameras will be worn by all officers and ranks in the department. The use of this important tool is governed by a policy that was developed based on guidance from the New Jersey Attorney General’s Office and feedback from the community. The purchase of the cameras was funded in part by grant funding through a state program with the goal of equipping all New Jersey police departments with the cameras.
“This is an important step in strengthening trust between the police and residents,” said Simone Jackson who serves on Collingswood Chief’s Advisory Committee. The advisory committee was created in 2020 and is comprised of residents and professionals with diverse backgrounds and representation. The committee is charged with helping to ensure an environment where the community feels their police department is accessible and values the input and needs of residents.
“It’s important we maintain an open channel of communication and transparency with the public,” said Collingswood Police Chief Kevin Carey. “The implementation of the body-worn cameras is another step that helps us to achieve those goals,” he added.
Body Worn Cameras are an important asset intended to assist law enforcement by producing an audio-video recording of interactions with the public. The cameras will provide valuable documentary evidence for solving crimes, ensuring transparency, and aiding in upholding the utmost professional standards for Collingswood officers. It should be noted that in accordance with the New Jersey Attorney General’s Guidelines, officers are trained to respect areas of privacy and will restrict recording under some circumstances of private residences, schools, places of worship, healthcare facilities, and courtrooms.
Residents will notice the new Axon Body 3 body-worn cameras worn by all uniformed officers’ clothing during citizen encounters. The cameras will be positioned on the outer-most clothing garment and placed within the upper torso/chest area to ensure recording capability is not obstructed. The photos below demonstrate where the cameras are to be placed on an officer’s uniform.
The cameras have high-quality audio and visual capabilities but do not have enhanced audio or video capabilities that capture images or conversations beyond what the officer can see or hear, such as infrared night vision, thermal imaging, or sound amplification.
Residents can access both state and local policies below:
New Jersey Attorney General’s Guideline on Body Worn Cameras 2021-5
Pictured Left to Right: Bodyworn Camera Placement:
Class A, Class B, Class C, Detective Bureau