Bayonne police officers are getting new body cameras.
The initiative is funded by a grant awarded to the city by the state Department of Law and Public Safety for 2021. The city was awarded the $452,436 under the state’s Body Worn Camera Grant.
At its caucus meeting on Dec. 8 the City Council moved a resolution to accept the grant to its next regular meeting on Dec. 15.
A separate resolution, also moved by the council at the caucus to its next meeting, would put the grant money toward the new cameras. The resolution would authorize the purchase under the Houston Galveston Co-Op Program of 222 “body worn complete camera systems” from Coban Technologies Inc. of Houston, Texas.
That resolution would also authorize the purchase of necessary computer hardware to manage and store the video data from the cameras from Coban. The cost totals $451,647, covered completely by the state grant funds.
At the council caucus meeting, At-Large City Councilman Juan Perez inquired about the quality of the cameras.
“You have cameras now that, if you touch them, they fall on to the ground,” Perez said, wanting to know if the newer cameras would stay put better.
Chief of Police Robert Geisler was present at the meeting to give some details on the new cameras.
“This this is an upgrade to our existing cameras,” Geisler said. “It’s the same company. This is their latest model.”
According to Geisler, this equipment will be sturdier.
“The clips that the cops are going to be wearing with the new cameras are a lot stronger,” he said. “That should make it so it’s secure.”
Geisler said that each officer will wear a body camera. This is per state law, which recently came into effect on June 1, 2021. However, the city’s officers have been wearing body cameras since 2019. Those initial batch of body cameras, nearly 200, were authorized to be purchased by the council in April of 2018 utilizing some state grants.
New officers incoming too
Another resolution up for approval by the council would accept a $1.5 million grant from the Department of Justice to hire 12 new police officers. Rep. Donald Payne Jr., who represents the 10th Congressional District including parts of Bayonne, was slated to speak at the caucus meeting but had to reschedule due to technical issues.
The City Council will meet next on Dec. 15 at 7 p.m. in the municipal chambers at City Hall at 630 Avenue C. The public can still attend remotely or in-person. For more information, go to bayonnenj.org and click on the event on the calendar webpage.
For updates on this and other stories, check www.hudsonreporter.com and follow us on Twitter @hudson_reporter. Daniel Israel can be reached at email@example.com.