Newark Mayor Ras J. Baraka and Public Safety Director Anthony F. Ambrose announce that through a donation by Panasonic System Communications Company, the Police Division will implement a body-worn and dashboard camera pilot program.
The program, comprising 80 body-worn cameras and 15 dashboard cameras, will facilitate transparency by allowing interactions between police and citizens to be recorded by both audio and video. The use of body-worn cameras will ensure that officer to citizen contacts are memorialized for the safeguarding of citizen rights and proper police procedure.
Use of the equipment will also enable Police Division administrators to conduct periodic reviews of officer to citizen contacts for quality control purposes and to aid in the investigation of citizen complaints.
“The City of Newark is honored to share in the development of this important public safety initiative with Panasonic,” said Mayor Ras J. Baraka. “The benefit to the citizens of our City through the introduction of this new technology is immeasurable and our partnership with this iconic global corporate partner, which calls Newark home, is a reflection of the company’s commitment to the well-being of this community.”
“Panasonic is a proud corporate citizen of Newark and we are pleased to be able to demonstrate our support for our community by donating 80 Panasonic Arbitrator Body-Worn cameras and 15 Arbitrator In-Vehicle cameras to the City,” said Faisal Pandit, Senior Vice President, Panasonic Systems Communications Company.
Certain uniformed officers will wear the camera near or at the center of their chest on the outer most layer of clothing.
The camera is black and is about 3 inches in length by 2 inches in width. It becomes activated when a button on the front of the camera is pushed or the patrol vehicle’s lights and siren are activated, revealing a lighted indicator.
Pursuant to Attorney General Guidelines, police will verbally notify individuals of camera use unless it is unsafe or infeasible to provide notification.
“I welcome the use of body-worn cameras to assist police officers in their interactions with the public,” Director Ambrose said. “The addition of this equipment is a significant step toward deepening community trust, raising the standard of customer service we provide to the public and ensuring the safety of both citizens and police officers. I am thankful to Panasonic for making this generous donation on behalf of the City of Newark.”