ASBURY PARK - The Asbury Park Police Department has issued body cameras for all of its police officers to wear.
Other New Jersey police departments have only a few officers wearing the cameras as part of a pilot program, but all of Asbury Park’s uniformed officers will be wearing them.
“Anytime you can be more transparent, anytime you can put that visual out there I think the confidence the public has on police will be greatly enhanced,” says acting Police Chief Anthony Salerno.
Salerno says that the use of cameras was not planned as a result of the recent police-involved shootings around the country, or the murder of five police officers in Dallas last week. He says that the program was two years in the marking.
“I think they'll go a long way to relaxing the tension of mistrust between the police and citizens, which have been very apparent across the country the last couple of weeks,” Salerno says.
Officers are required to activate the cameras each time they have encounters with Asbury Park citizens.
Some Asbury Park residents say that having police wear body cameras is a great idea that protects every one.
“It's very difficult to contest the video so if anything should happen they'd be able to document either to protect them or potentially convict them,” says resident Estelle Cadet.
Each camera costs $1,000. A state grant will cover half of the cost.