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Somerset County Sheriff’s Officers to Wear Body Cameras

SOMERVILLE — Somerset County Sheriff officer’s are getting a new crime fighting tool - a body camera, Sheriff Frank J. Provenzano has announced.

The cameras, which will be used in accordance with the state Attorney General’s guidelines, will aid in investigations by capturing video of incidents in real-time, help in the collection of evidence, memorialize information at crime scenes and improve the ability to identify suspects and enhance the accuracy of victim and witness statements, according to a release.

The body camera video will also provide prosecutors with an additional investigative tool in court proceedings, it was stated in the release.

A recent poll taken by the International Association of Chiefs of Police involving prosecutors across the nation revealed defendants plead guilty in 93 percent of cases containing video evidence, according to the release.

Furthermore, the cameras have reduced use-of-force incidents and use-of-force complaints against officers, it was stated in the release.

The cameras will be worn by officers on specific assignments, routine patrol and K-9 operations, the release said. “The enactment of this new program will help to better serve the citizens of Somerset County by making both the officer and civilian accountable for their actions,” said Provenzano.

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