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November 14, 2016

Cherry Hill police announce launch of body camera program

Technology Police
111416_cherryhill_camera Cherry Hill Police Department/for PhillyVoice

Police officers in Cherry Hill, New Jersey, are now equipped with body cameras, the department announced Monday.

Mayor Chuck Cahn and Chief William Monaghan said the program launched on Nov. 3 to outfit all sworn officers with a body-worn device.

“We strongly believe this new tool will improve public safety by enhancing transparency and accountability, which benefits both our officers and members of the public,” Monaghan said.

Thanks to federal and state funding, every officer in the department will wear a Taser Axon 2 camera on their outermost layer of clothing at the center of the chest. That model was chosen after a two-year period of field testing and evaluation.

The body camera will supplement the department's existing in-car camera system, police said.

“Ultimately, these cameras will enhance the community-police relationship and enable our men and women in uniform to continue to deliver the highest level of public safety to all,” Cahn said.

Last year, President Barack Obama's Task Force on 21st Century Policing, co-chaired by former Philadelphia Police Commissioner Charles Ramsey, recommended that law enforcement agencies use body cameras to help strengthen relations with communities.

Several police forces in the Greater Philadelphia area have implemented body camera programs this year, including all Bucks County departments, SEPTA transit and the New Jersey State Police.