ONLY ON CLIFFVIEW PILOT : Expensive pivoting video cameras are mounted on traffic lights within yards of where North Bergen High School Vice-Principal Edward Somick’s Jeep struck at least two cars and rolled over early Saturday. And neither of the cameras works.
One camera is at the corner of 69th Street, the other at 79th Street (CLIFFVIEW PILOT PHOTO)
CLIFFVIEW PILOT reviewed a Dec. 3 report to township police that the cameras at the corners of 69th and 70th streets on Kennedy Boulevard were inoperable.
Nearly three weeks later, they still haven’t been repaired.
Had they been working, investigators could have determined exactly what happened shortly before 2 a.m. Saturday, when Somick was found outside his toppled Jeep after it had struck at least two parked cars.
According to Patrolman Frank Mena, Somick swerved to avoid an animal. Video would have either supported or refuted the explanation.Edward Somick
It also would have shown Mena arriving shortly after three responding patrol officers and driving Somick off in his township police car before North Bergen EMS showed up less than three minutes later. No sobriety test, no report.
Mena returned to the corner and completed the report after dropping off Somick at his Durham Avenue home, about a mile from the crash scene.
North Bergen township invested more than $5 million in the closed-circuit equipment — complete with a specially designed command post and training in how to operate the camera system — a few years ago in an attempt to deter crime and keep an eye on congested roadways.
Nearly 100 cameras were installed on Kennedy Boulevard, Broadway and Bergenline Avenue, as well as on Tonnelle and West Side avenues — all extremely busy north-south thoroughfares.
The digital information captured by the cameras is recorded onto a hard drive at the command center — when the cameras are working.
Still, theirs wouldn’t have been the only recorded data from Saturday night’s incident.
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