3 largest NJ cities prep for police body cameras

Newark, Jersey City and Paterson are on tap to get body cameras for police officers.

Newark, Jersey City and Paterson are on tap to get body cameras for police officers. (4/24/15)

JERSEY CITY - New Jersey's three largest cities are moving ahead with plans to outfit their police officers with body cameras, possibly as early as this fall.

The mayors of Newark, Jersey City and Paterson announced Friday that they have issued requests for proposals from vendors that are due back by May 14.

Newark Mayor Ras Baraka, Jersey City Mayor Steven Fulop and Paterson Mayor Jose Torres said last summer that they would collaborate on numerous issues, including the purchasing of equipment in order to save money.

"The public operates differently, as do police officers…when they know they're being videotaped," says Mayor Fulop.

Jersey City Police Director James Shea says his city plans to have all patrol officers wear the cameras. Shea says a primary issue is the cost of storing footage shot by the cameras.

James Stewart Jr., head of Newark's police union, says the union supports body cameras, but that some clarifications are needed.

"We can't just say tomorrow everybody from the director on down to the doorman is wearing a body camera. We have to factor in juveniles, domestic violence type situations," he says.

The state Department of Community Affairs approved the joint purchasing plan in December.

The Associated Press wire service contributed to this report.

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