In a move towards greater transparency and accountability, Bergen County Sheriff Anthony Cureton has announced the purchase of body worn cameras for Correctional Police Officers. The cameras will be used to record incidents involving officers, staff, and inmates within the Bergen County Jail, and will serve as a training tool for the agency, reducing the need for internal affairs investigations involving officers.
While there is currently no Attorney General mandate regarding the use of body worn cameras in correctional institutions, Sheriff Cureton sees the trend towards transparency in law enforcement as a crucial step towards accountability. Having these cameras will protect against allegations of assaults and improper conduct by officers, and their presence alone will provide a deterrent and enhance officer and inmate safety during transport.
“People who know they are being observed and recorded on video tend to act better than those not under observation,” Sheriff Anthony Cureton said.
Approximately 80 cameras have been purchased, with the expectation of an additional purchase due to an agreement to receive Passaic County inmates. The cost of outfitting correctional police officers with Axon body worn cameras is approximately $500,000, which was funded through the agency’s capital budget.
The use of body worn cameras has become increasingly common in law enforcement, and their adoption by correctional institutions is a welcome step towards greater transparency and accountability. The Bergen County Sheriff’s Office is committed to ensuring the safety and security of all within its custody and looks forward to the positive impact these cameras will have on the agency and the community it serves.