Cherry Hill Police

Cherry Hill Police to Use Sensor That Will Activate Body Cam Whenever Officer Draws Weapon

As soon as an officer draws their weapon, the sensor will trigger their body worn camera to begin recording as well as any other police camera within a 30-foot radius. 

NBC Universal, Inc.

What to Know

  • The Cherry Hill police department is set to use new technology that they hope will increase transparency and trust from their community. 
  • The officers will be among the first in New Jersey to utilize a “signal sidearm,” a small bluetooth sensor that attaches to their duty holster.
  • As soon as an officer draws their weapon, the sensor will trigger their body worn camera to begin recording as well as any other police camera within a 30-foot radius. 

The Cherry Hill police department is set to use new technology that they hope will increase transparency and trust from their community. 

The officers will be among the first in New Jersey to utilize a “signal sidearm,” a small bluetooth sensor that attaches to their duty holster. As soon as an officer draws their weapon, the sensor will trigger their body worn camera to begin recording as well as any other police camera within a 30-foot radius. 

“It has a magnetic sensor that detects the metal in the handgun.” Cherry Hill Police Chief William Monaghan told NBC10. 

Police staged a simulation of a car stop for a suspected robber to demonstrate how the technology will work. When the officer in the simulation drew his weapon, his camera immediately began beeping. 

“It automatically records the 30 second buffer plus anything forward,” Chief Monaghan said. 

The new technology does not override or take the place of police recording a situation before it escalates to a gun being drawn.

"There is a public misconception that police cameras are not turned on," Chief Monaghan said. "They are always on and buffering, ready to record."

Cherry Hill police will begin to use the sensors in early 2021 for the cost of $45,000 out of their general budget

“You can’t put a price tag on the value of a human life,” Chief Monaghan said. “The price of litigation to the taxpayer could be extremely high.” 

Justin Locust of West Deptford, New Jersey, believes the recordings shouldn’t just start when a weapon is drawn however. 

“It should be cameras from start to finish,” Locust said. “Not just when the gun gets pulled out. There are so many things that go on prior before it even gets to that.” 

For Chief Monaghan however, the new technology is an important first step in improving the relationship between police and the community. 

“And the whole story’s important, right? Because, you know, people jump to conclusions,” Chief Monaghan said. “And you know, especially with the negative perception against law enforcement.”

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