Officers at Cape May County jail to wear cameras

Cape May corrections officers will soon start wearing small mounted cameras. The county sheriff’s department plans to purchase a dozen cameras to record interactions between officers and inmates at the Cape May County Correctional Facility in South Jersey.

Announcing the planned use of the cameras, Sheriff Gary Schaffer said the cameras could help prevent unfounded lawsuits against county officers. “We, as a union, are in favor of everything that’s going to improve officer safety as long as it’s used solely to enhance officer safety and protect officers from baseless lawsuits,” said Tom McQuillen, president of the county Fraternal Order of Police

He says the tiny cameras haven’t raised concerns so far for union members.”We should conduct ourselves at all times as if we are being watched, because, in most cases, we usually are,” he said he advises his members. 

“There are so many surveillance cameras and video cameras inside the correctional facility anyway that these officers are used to kind of living in a fishbowl themselves,” McQuillen said.McQuillen says Cape May will be a guinea pig. Other departments will likely be watching the Cape May experiment to decide whether to purchase their own cameras.

Want a digest of WHYY’s programs, events & stories? Sign up for our weekly newsletter.

It will take 126,000 members this year for great news and programs to thrive. Help us get to 100% of the goal.