By Cleve Bryan
EVESHAM Twp., N.J. (CBS) — This week Evesham Township Police became the largest force in New Jersey to begin department-wide use of body cameras.
“This is a game changer, this is the future,” says Evesham Chief Christopher Chew, “every police department will be wearing these in the future I believe.”
The department experimented with five or six brands and decided on the Taser Axon which clips on the center of an officer’s chest.
A device records up to 16 hours of video and a cloud system stores it for 90 days. Clips needed for evidence can be held forever.
“It gives us a level of transparency. We’re a customer service agency and I want the public to see everything we do at all times,” says Chew.
The system cost $63,000 but the department says among other long-term savings they should court and workman comp costs by $117,000 in the first three years.
A study of body camera use in Rialto, CA found a 50 percent decrease in use-of-force incidents and an 88 percent decrease in complaints against officers.
“We figure it would definitely reduce the number of complaints to internal affairs, especially those ones that are he-said she-said,” says Chew.
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