Legislative action by jurisdiction

Jurisdiction Legislation

  There are no current laws or proposed bills relating to police body cameras in Alaska. According to an October 2015 news article, the Alaska State Troopers and Anchorage Police Department are both looking into equipping law enforcement with body cameras and discussing policies related to the storage and utilization of the recordings. A December 2014 news article similarly said, Anchorage Safety Patrol officers "will soon be equipped with on-body video cameras” but that it "will likely be at least a few more years before policies and guidelines are hammered out.”


  No statute or proposal relevant to body camera videos was found. Various Alabama municipalities are obtaining body cameras, but there is no mention of any regulations or policies.


  Arkansas does not currently have state-wide requirements or pending legislation for collection, retention, or public access for body camera videos. Some local jurisdictions have started equipping or testing body cameras, including: Lowell, Jonesboro, Jacksonville, Ward, Beebe, Glenwood, Austin, and Arkadelphia. Other cities are considering the possibility of using body cameras, including Little Rock and North Little Rock.


  Arizona currently does not have any mandatory body camera laws. In 2015, Arizona legislators introduced two bills: HB 2511 and SB 1300. While the original versions of the bills contained substantive provisions on a number of issues concerning body cameras, the Arizona legislature gutted most of the key provisions. HB 2511 died in committee, but ultimately, the Arizona legislature passed, and the state governor signed, SB 1300, establishing a Law Enforcement Officer Body Camera Study Committee, tasked with recommending policies and laws on the use of cameras and body camera recordings. The Committee released its final report on December 31, 2015, but did not adopt any of the seventeen recommendations it considered.

Arizona - Phoenix

  Phoenix police department’s policy is no longer posted on its website, but there is a version from July 2014 posted on a private site online. In September 2015, the Phoenix Police Department received more than $600,000 in federal grant money to more than double the number of body cameras on officers, bringing the total to about 300. There are currently 139 cameras deployed within Phoenix.


  In 2015, the California legislature passed Assembly Bill 69, which added Section 832.18 to the Penal Code and required implementation of "best practices” related to data storage. Senate Bill No. 85 was also passed, and directs the California Highway Patrol to develop a plan for implementing a body-worn camera pilot program; that plan is awaiting final approval.
  Currently, there is one bill pending in the legislature: Senate Bill No. 1286 (in committee), which would allow the public to access investigations into peace officer misconduct.
  Other bills have failed, including Assembly Bill No. 66 (access to recordings), Senate Bill No. 175 (requiring agencies to develop their own policies), and Assembly Bill No. 85 (establishing grant program for body-worn cameras).

California - Los Angeles

  The Los Angeles Police Commission approved the Los Angeles Police Department’s proposed body camera rules by a 3-1 vote on Tuesday, April 28, 2015. A copy of the LAPD body camera policy was not publicly available, but various articles have summarized its key points.

California - San Diego

  As of March 9, 2016, the San Diego Police Department has issued a policy relating to the collection of police worn body camera footage.

California - San Francisco

  San Francisco began outfitting some police officers with body cameras in 2013. San Francisco then received a $250,000 Federal grant for a body camera pilot program in early 2014. In April of 2015, the Mayor of San Francisco proposed a $6.6 million expenditure to equip every office in the city with a body camera by the end of 2015. A draft policy was approved on December 2, 2015, and on June 1, 2016, the city approved a final policy.


  On May 20, 2015, Colorado passed HB 15-1285, legislation providing grants to expand the use of body cameras by police officers, but there are no statewide laws being proposed or on the books regulating use of body cameras. Colorado Republicans have stated that they will oppose any mandatory body camera bill, citing expenses to rural agencies.
  The legislation included creation of a study group that was tasked in part with collecting policies and studies concerning body-worn cameras by law enforcement officers, and recommending policies on the use of body cameras, including (a) when the cameras are required to be turned on; (b) when cameras must be turned off; (c) when cameras may be turned off; (d) when notification must be given that a camera is in use; and (e) when consent of another person is required for the continued use of a camera. This study was released in February 2016.
  Colorado does not have any laws providing special FOIA treatment for either dashboard camera or body camera footage.


  In June 2015, the Connecticut legislature passed and the governor signed House Bill No. 7103 that required the Commissioner of Emergency Services and Public Protection and the Police Officer Standards and Training Council to jointly evaluate and approve minimal technical specifications of body-worn recording equipment and digital data storage devices or services. In December 2015, they released their recommendations for statewide requirements; these requirements only apply to agencies that receive state aid and reimbursement for body-worn recording equipment. Among other things, these departments are required to retain recordings for at least 90 days and maintain evidence for legal proceedings for at least four years. The council’s recommendation requires state and university police to start using police body-worn cameras by July 1, 2016.
  In May 2016, the legislature passed and the governor signed Senate Bill No. 349 (Public Act No. 16-33), which describes the and release of law enforcement body-worn camera recordings, specifically detailing incidents that may not be intentionally recorded and stating that these incidents shall not be public records and not subject to disclosure under FOIA.
  Senate Bill 467 is also pending, which would exclude provisions regarding body-worn recording equipment from collective bargaining.


  In June 2016, a collaboration of the Delaware Police Chiefs’ Council, Office of the Attorney General, the Department of Safety and Homeland Security, the Delaware Fraternal Order of Police and the Delaware State Troopers Association issued a directive outlining a set of statewide guidelines for those departments that use body cameras to follow, including procedures for when and how to use the cameras, storing data, and restriction on using devices. This collaboration and resulting directive fulfilled an order from House Concurrent Resolution 46, which passed the General Assembly in June 2015, and was the result of six months of studying the use of policy body cameras. The Delaware State Police began a pilot program, or 60-day feasibility study, for police body cameras in February 2016 to evaluate different body cameras, mounting styles, evidence management, and data storage solutions. In addition to the Delaware State Police pilot phase, as of June 2016, seven Delaware police departments also use cameras.


  In March 2016, the Florida legislature passed, and the governor signed into law, House Bill No. 93 (and Senate Bill 418), which require law enforcement agencies that permit officers to wear body cameras to establish policies and procedures addressing proper use, maintenance and storage of cameras and data; sets requirements for training and data retention; and exempts some recordings from other eavesdropping and wiretapping recording restrictions.

Florida - Miami

  On June 2, 2015, the Miami-Dade County Commission approved $1 million for the purchase of 500 on-body cameras to be worn by their police force. The Mayor indicated his intention to request funding for an additional 500 body cameras during FY 2016 with the goal of outfitting every county officer in the next 3-4 years. On April 20, 2016, the Miami-Dade Police Department issued Directive 16-18, "Revision to the Department Manual, New Policy: Chapter 33 – Part 1 – Body-Worn Camera System”


  In May 2015, the Georgia legislature passed Senate Bill No. 94, House Bill No. 326 that allows, but does not require, the use of body cameras by police and excludes body camera recordings from public records under certain circumstances. House Bill No. 32, which would have required the use of police body cameras and exempted videos from public records requests, failed.
  In May 2016, the legislature passed and the governor signed House Bill No. 976, which provides retention requirements and exceptions for law enforcement video recordings, including body-worn camera and dashcam recordings.