By Tony Hanson

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — As the Philadelphia Police Department begins a pilot program this month with dozens of officers wearing body cameras, a New Jersey department says that beginning today, all 70 officers on its force will have cameras.

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That means that all of the tens of thousands of police contacts with the public in Evesham Township will now be recorded.

Evesham Township Police Lieutenant Joseph Friel says the cameras have been everything they hoped they would be and more. Video has resulted in stronger cases for court, and complaints against police have been dealt with quickly: five of six have been dismissed in a matter of hours, not days, weeks, months or even years.

“And we see the absolute truth, from beginning to end,” Friel says. “It’s not a short video clip captured from a business’s surveillance camera. It’s not a short clip capture on a police car dashcam before they go off camera. I mean, we get to see it from the very beginning to the very end.”

And officer video is a training aid.

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“We view their video footage,” Friel says. “So we get to see what they are doing. We get to see that they’re doing a great job. We get to maybe identify some training issues, so with those checks and balances in place, we can definitely provide a better service to out community.”

Lieutenant Friel says one minor infraction was founded — and the department took action.

According to Friel, savings are turning out to be several times the cost of the cameras, but the department is still dealing with issues related to requests for video, including increased workload.

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