Are police body cameras the wave of the campus police future?

Andy Polhamus reports for the South Jersey Times:

Rowan University becomes first N.J. college to use police body cameras

Rowan University announced on Tuesday that its police department had been issued body cameras, making it the first New Jersey college to use the devices. The news comes less than a week after Glassboro’s municipal police department’s launch of its own camera program.

Reed Layton, director of public safety at Rowan, said the policy was a response to state law requiring law enforcement agencies to use dashboard or body cameras. Rowan police went with body cams, calling them more affordable and more practical than the stationary cameras in police vehicles. Officers first began wearing the cameras on Monday after a year of talks and preparation.

“The cameras are for the protection of citizens, as well as for officers,” said Reed Layton, director of public safety at Rowan. “This is an important step for us and will enhance a lot of confidence in public safety throughout our community.”

Rowan consulted with Glassboro, Paulsboro and Evesham police in developing its camera policy and training its officers. The 35 officers stationed at the Glassboro and Stratford campuses will wear them on patrol and while responding to calls (the school’s Camden buildings are not included because safety personnel there are security officers, not certified police). In calls to residence halls or other “areas of privacy,” officers are required to notify the people they interact with when the camera is recording, department policy states. The footage, which is uploaded whenever the camera is charged in a docking station, will be held in cloud storage for a minimum of 90 days.