Nj Police To Tape All Homicide Case Interviews
Starting Jan. 1, police across New Jersey will be required to record complete interviews with homicide suspects in accordance with a new state Supreme Court law. The move strives to protect police from unwarranted abuse allegations and defendants from strong-arm tactics.
Starting in 2007, the rule will include other major crimes in addition to murder and manslaughter, including robbery, sexual assault, and crimes involving firearms. The rule called for investigators to make either video or audio recordings that must start when the suspect’s rights are read. Suspects do not have to be informed of the taping.
Local agencies will have to bear the cost of equipping their facilities for recording; they can use forfeiture funds and buy audio-only gear to save money. But Cumberland County Chief of Detectives Kenneth Tamasso is concerned about the costs of transcribing full interviews for court proceedings, which could cost as much as $100 per hour.
But University of Pittsburgh law professor John Burkoff notes that the recording equipment used by law enforcement has become less expensive and more easily obtainable as its use expands.
Abstracted by the National Law Enforcement and Corrections Technology Center(NLECTC) from the Press of Atlantic City (12/28/05); DeWeese, James .