TRENTON - State lawmakers are considering a bill that would require every police department to install dash cams in their patrol cars.
Plainsboro Police Chief Guy Armour was just an officer 19 years ago when his department installed VHS cameras in its cruisers. His department now has state-of-the-art digital cameras in most patrol cars that turn on automatically when an officer flips on his lights and sirens.
"More often than not, it's come to help our officers in most circumstances rather than hurt them," Armour says.
He says the officers can use the footage to defend themselves against lawsuits. He also says it's good for motorists. "It sets a standard of conduct for the officers. The officers know they're being recorded and the public also has confidence when they see that dash cam," he says.
Assemblyman Charles Mainor is a primary sponsor on the bill. He's also a former police officer who worked on traffic detail and says he wishes the bill was around when he was on the street. "There's going to be a clear picture. It will show exactly what's going on so we don't have to ask anyone what's taking place," he says. "We can go straight to the video."
If the bill passes, fines for driving while intoxicated would increase.
The bill will head to the full Assembly for a vote.