The ongoing project to outfit all of Lavallette’s police officers with body cameras is continuing, with the borough receiving grant funding to buy 20 of the devices.
The borough council, in April, awarded a contract to Axon Inc. to purchase cameras for all of its full-time officers and Class II special officers. Under new legislation, all police departments in New Jersey must outfit their officers with the cameras and they must be turned on when responding to a call or conducting a stop.
While the council happily accepted the $40,760 in grant funding from the New Jersey Office of Attorney General, officials still characterized the law as one of many unfunded mandates the borough has had to deal with in recent years. The entire program will cost $126,365. In addition to the cameras themselves, the borough must also purchase video storage and software updates, as well as pay licensing and data fees.
The $40,000 grant will cover the majority of the borough’s first payment. Subsequent payments for the camera system will be about $21,000 for the next four year of the contract. Borough officials have been in contact with the 10th district legislative office to express concerns about the cost of the program.
“We’re hoping that, hopefully, with some pressure the assemblymen can do something,” said Mayor Walter LaCicero. “All police departments are in the same boat with this – what was promised versus what was funded. I’m hoping that the state, so flush with funds now, is able to find some money.”