WATCH: NJ Governor Says Police Body Cam Law Necessary, But Not Sufficient In Itself
The legislation was signed in November, and placed a requirement for all police officers to be equipped with body cams by June. Now, it’s June, and New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy has made some public statements about the legislation and its limits.
NJ reported on the legislation earlier this year, as Governor Murphy’s Interagency Working Group on Body Worn Cameras panel released recommendations to help state and local law enforcement manage cost and implementation of the devices.
At the time, Murphy said, “Because of their power to promote transparency and accountability, body worn cameras are a vital tool for building trust between our police officers and the diverse communities they serve.”
In his new statements, he’s reiterating that, but also recognizing that body cameras are only one part of a whole strategy to protect both law enforcement, and the citizens who come into contact with it.
Gov. Phil Murphy (D-NJ) marks new law requiring all state police wear body cameras starting today.
NJ joins 6 other states that require law enforcement to wear the cameras. pic.twitter.com/whjywWepng
— The Recount (@therecount) June 1, 2021
“Body cameras alone cannot make a community safer. You know that great phrase, ‘They are necessary but not sufficient.’ I think that’s the way we should think about this. We will continue our work to bring community leaders and law enforcement together, for the vital and overdue reforms that will bring about a new culture of policing in our state.”
In a news release in November, Murphy praised the legislation as a means to “promote transparency in policing and build trust between police officers and the communities they serve,” and calling the devices themselves “a wise all-around investment in public safety” that would not only improve accountability and trust, but be a layer of protection for law enforcement carrying out sworn duties.