Ocean City to Vote to Give Police Body and In-Car Cameras

first_imgOcean City Police DepartmentCity Council will vote Thursday on spending $116,416 to equip the Ocean City Police Department with in-car and body cameras.The resolution will be considered at council’s public meeting 7 p.m. Thursday (May 28) at City Hall and would authorize the purchase of 15 in-car cameras and 19 body cameras.“Over the past year, the integrity and credibility of police agencies, as well as individual police officers, from across the country has been questioned, and in some cases destroyed,” Ocean City Police Capt. Jay Prettyman wrote in a memo to the city.“The Ocean City Police Department has always taken pride in its relationship with the residents and visitors it serves, and in an effort to provide for and maintain the highest level of transparency we plan to deploy a large-scale ‘in-car’ and ‘body camera’ system,” Prettyman said. “This new system will combine several types of technology, and allow for the monitoring and recording of the majority of our police/citizen encounters.”If the resolution were passed, almost every patrol vehicle would include a video recording system and almost every on-duty officer would be equipped with a body camera, according to Prettyman.He said he hopes to see the camera system fully operational within the month of August.Ocean City Capt. Steve Ang said, if the resolution is approved, the department would first develop policies and guidelines for the use of the new equipment. Officers would be trained to use cameras from L3 Communications Mobile Vision of Boonton, N.J., the vendor that supplies the majority of systems to New Jersey law enforcement agencies.Ang said other departments in the area have been purchasing and deploying cameras piecemeal, and if council approves the resolution, Ocean City would have one of the largest municipal police camera systems in the area.The camera initiative is not a reaction to any local incident, but Ocean City police have been named in recent lawsuits that hinged on wildly different accounts of events that could potentially have been captured on video (the Raab lawsuit that claimed the use of excessive force and a pair of lawsuits over the use of a K-9 dog, among others).He said officers currently monitor public places shown on the 47 AtTheShore.com cams in Ocean City.“There’s not much you can do in this day and age where you’re not being watched,” Ang said.last_img

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