Gov. Chris Christie signed legislation that requires members of “local police departments to install video cameras in newly purchased patrol cars or to equip officers with on-body cameras while on their beats,” according to The Wall Street Journal.
The law, slated to take effect by March, provides some flexibility with how localities choose to comply with the mix of cameras, the bill’s sponsors said.
The move puts the state in the vanguard of those pushing for wider use of police cameras. States have passed legislation to study on-body police cameras or allow pilot programs, but none have mandated them statewide, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.
“I think [body cameras are] inevitable,” Thomas O’Reilly, executive director of the Police Institute at Rutgers University, told The Wall Street Journal. “… I think it’s obviously being embraced by the community as a safeguard, and more and more it’s been embraced by police officers.”