Thursday, April 21, 2016

NJ Court Rules Dashcam Mandate Unconstitutional

New Jersey's Council on Local Mandates has ruled that a 2014 law requiring police vehicles to carry dashboard cameras has been ruled unconstitutional, according to Article VIII, section II, paragraph five of the New Jersey constitution prohibits the state government from imposing "unfunded mandates" on local government and sets up the council to adjudicate. reports:

Deptford Township in Gloucester County challenged the law, arguing the $25 surcharge on driving-while-intoxicated offenses did not provide enough money to buy the necessary equipment.

In September, the nine-member board issued a temporary injunction blocking implementation of the law.

In its six-page opinion, the board called described the funding mechanism as "illusory."

The evidence submitted by Deptford, the board said, showed the surcharge "would fall far short of funding the instillation of either a vehicle-mounted or body-worn mobile video recording system."

I suggest a tax on police associations and unions to fund this mandate. Gov. Chris Christie (R), who signed the 2014 bill into law, has sparred with teachers union during his tenure as New Jersey governor but has largely avoided engaging police unions.

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