A spokesperson for the Bloomfield Police Department recently announced that the police body cameras measure is intended to improve community relations. The use of body cameras by Bloomfield NJ police officers should also help to alleviate criticism of the department for allegedly engaging in racial profiling when making arrests.
A Seton Hall University study recently found that Bloomfield NJ patrol cops were conducting traffic stops on minority drivers at a disproportionate rate. Moreover, two Bloomfield cops were convicted in 2014 on charges of official misconduct because they falsified arrest records in a case.
The Bloomfield Police Department already had a pilot program for use of 10 body cameras. Now that number will increase to 22 cameras, with police officers downloading video from the cameras at the end of their shifts. This data will then be stored in a New Jersey police database.
Proponents of the new police body camera policy say that it will reduce the number of violent incidents by holding law enforcement accountable for their actions and letting suspects know that they will be recorded committing crimes such as resisting arrest or aggravated assault on a police officer.
Bloomfield Mayor Michael Venezia recently issued a statement in which he said the new body camera policy will be good because it will allow the Bloomfield Police Department to be “transparent” and “progressive.”
Venezia also said that the body cameras will “reduce the chance of negative encounters and provide evidence that can settle disputes and avoid lawsuits.”
For more information, read the NJ.com article, “After Accusations of Bias, All Bloomfield Patrol Cops to Wear a Body Camera.”