Chatham Township Police Seek Mobile Video Cameras; License Plate Reader is Coming

Chatham Township Police Chief Steven Hennelly is looking to add cameras to patrol cars Credits: TAP Chatham

CHATHAM, NJ - Committee member Robert Gallop noted that the police department is seeking funds to install mobile video cameras in its patrol cars and that a license plate reader has been approved, when he reported on news from the Public Safety Committee Thursday at the Chatham Township Committee meeting.

Gallop said that Police Chief Steven Hennelly spoke about the advantages of mobile cameras and license plate readers at the Public Safety meeting.

"Chief Hennelly made a proposal to install mobile cameras in patrol vehicles," Gallop said. "The camera can record 40 hours. if there is a burglary or crime in a particular area of town, the video can be pulled and that could lead to evidence that solves the crime.

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"Other advantages include traffic stops, where the mobile cameras can record the conduct of the police officer and the person who is stopped."

Hennelly is seeking a grant to fund the $40,000 it would cost to install mobile cameras in seven patrol cars. Hennelly already received a grant from the Morris County Prosecutor's Office to pay for the License Plate Reader.

"I'm particularly excited about that," Gallops said of the reader. "For those not familiar with it, as a police car travels the road, they take pictures of license plates. If there is a crime, he can pull a license plate number and, perhaps, provide evidence of a crime."

Hennelly explained that the reader will take pictures of license plates and send the images to a computer. If the plate matches and outstanding warrant, a person driving with a suspended license, a missing person or someone being sought by authorities, the patrolman would be alerted.

In other business, the township committee introduced an ordinance that will raise fees for its liquor licenses. The public hearing will be held on Feb. 13. If adopted, consumption license fees will be raised to $2,500 licenses holders: Charlie Brown's Restaurant and the Fairmount Country Club. The distribution license would be raised to $907 for BuyRite and the Hickory Wine Cellar.

The committee appears ready to grant a request by a homeowner to vacate a walkway easement that runs through their property. The walkway runs from Pine Street to Longwood Avenue. The township will introduce an ordinance to vacate the easement at its meeting next month.

Mayor Kevin Sullivan was named the Office of Emergency Management Coordinator through Dec. 31, 2014.



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