On July 9, 2014 Councilman Duncan Harrison recommended that the Trenton Police Department adopt a formal policy recognizing a citizen's right to video and/or audio record officers carrying out their duties. This recommendation was made in response to several incidents, locally and nationally, where citizens’ rights were infringed upon by officers who objected to being recorded during the course of their duty.
“The Trenton Police Department responded to my concerns by issuing a memorandum order, dated July 9, 2014, to officers that made clear that citizens have a right to record interaction with officers either by the individual involved in the action or by third party individuals witnessing the incident. This is a very important issue to make certain our police department responds appropriately. During the upcoming confirmation hearing for Acting Police Director Ernest Parrey I will recommend that this order become official department policy,” said Councilman Duncan Harrison.
The United States Department of Justice issued a statement of interest on January 10, 2012, that asserted citizens constitutional right to record police officers during the regular execution of their duties. The Philadelphia Police department issued a similar order in 2011 and the DC Metropolitan Police Department issued their own order in 2012.
“Part of the reason I am making this announcement is to ensure that residents are aware of their rights. For those who exercise this right, I ask that you be responsible and considerate not to interfere or obstruct with any ongoing police investigation or action,” said Councilman Duncan Harrison.