A New Jersey bill designed to make it easier for law enforcement to use private, outdoor video cameras in investigations was approved earlier this week by an Assembly panel.
As previously reported by SecurityHive.com this Bill was originally crafted as a ‘mandatory registration’ by surveillance camera owners and after being edited the Bill now is a voluntary system.
The legislation would let municipalities, through an ordinance, establish a registry that would allow any owner of a private outdoor video surveillance camera to voluntarily register the camera with the local police department.
“Without witnesses or helpful evidence, a criminal investigation can quickly become stagnant,” said Assemblyman Charles Mainor, one of fives sponsor of the bill and a former Jersey City police officer. “This is an efficient way to help our local police departments get access to surveillance video that can help solve a case; or at the very least help move an investigation along.”
A person registering their camera would have to include their name, their most recent contact information, the street addresses for where the camera is located, the outdoor areas recorded by the areas, information on how the footage is saved or stored and the length of time the footage is saved or store, and finally, any other information the municipality would consider necessary.
A state, county, or municipal law enforcement agency, under the bill, would be authorized to contact a person who registered a private outdoor video surveillance camera and request access to footage.
The bill further provides that information in the camera registry would be available only to law enforcement officials and not be considered public record. The next step for the bill will be a vote by the Assembly.