Retention policy by state

Jurisdiction Retention
Alaska None.
Alabama None.
Arkansas None

  Before the state house of representatives amended the bill, SB 1300 contained provisions on the retention of body camera recordings. Under the original version of the bill, only recordable incidents may be retained. The bill initially required all recordable incidents to be erased after all legal actions or complaints and any associated appeals relating to the recordable incident are resolved. The bill directed law enforcement agencies to erase all nonrecordable incidents within 60 days after the recording of the incident. The bill would have allowed retention of recordings for law enforcement training purposes, if a recordable incident involved the arrest or handling of an emotionally disturbed person and the law enforcement officers who were involved consent. The provisions concerning retention of recordings did not make it into the final version of the bill.

Arizona - Phoenix

  All media that is captured during the pilot program will be retained by the Phoenix Police Department for a minimum of one year following the date it is recorded. Captured video may be retained for longer periods in the event the video is the subject of a litigation hold, a criminal case, part of discovery, etc.


  Assembly Bill No. 69 requires eight items be addressed by each department using body-worn cameras: 1) Identifying the person (or persons) who will be responsible for taking custody of and downloading the recorded data, 2) establishing when data should be downloaded and the cameras maintained for ongoing use and the tagging and categorizing of the downloaded data, 3) establishing specific measures to prevent tampering, deleting, and copying, including prohibiting unauthorized use, copying or distribution of any data, 4) categorizing and tagging the downloaded data according to the type of event recorded, 5) stating the length of time the data is to be stored, 6) stating where the recorded data is to be stored, 7) specifying requirements and safeguards if a 3rd party vendor will be managing the data storage system, and 8) requiring that recorded data be the property of the recording enforcement agency and shall not be accessed or released for any unauthorized purposes. 
  Assembly Bill No. 69 also requires storing non-evidentiary data for at least 60 days, evidentiary data for at least two years, data that may relate to a criminal prosecution for even more time, and the logs of access and deletion be retained permanently.
  When safe and practical, an on-scene supervisor may retrieve a body-worn camera from an officer. The supervisor shall be responsible for ensuring the camera data is uploaded into the desired data processing and collection method.

California - Los Angeles None.
California - San Diego

  SDPD Procedure requires metadata to be entered with each recorded segment and after entering the metadata, officers can place the camera on the battery charge and the data will automatically transfer to, the digital evidence management service that stores digitally encrypted data. At this point, the data is considered impounded.
  SDPD Procedure requires all recordings related to any criminal proceeding, claim filed, pending litigation, or a personnel complaint, to be preserved until the matter is resolved and/or in accordance with law.
  According to the audit report, SDPD will need to upgrade its cloud storage if it is to utilize the cameras and recordings effective.

California - San Francisco

  The December 2, 2015 draft policy required the Department to maintain all recordings for at least 60 days. The Department was required to retain the footage for at least two years, however, if the recording (1) showed an officer’s use of force, (2) led to the detention or arrest of an individual, or (3) was relevant to a formal or informal complaint.

Colorado None

  Senate Bill No. 770, which died, would have directed municipal police departments participating in the pilot program to adopt policies regarding the retention and destruction of videos.

Delaware None.

  Statute 119.021 requires public records to be maintained, preserved, and retained.
  House Bill No. 57 refers to Statute 257.36 which says that public records may be destroyed only in accordance with retention schedules established by the division.
  Agencies and people captured on film decide who has access to body camera video (but only to those portions relevant to the person’s presence in the recording). Anyone else would have to get a court order.
  Agencies would be required to keep videos for 90 days unless the audio/video is part of an active criminal investigation or a court orders longer retention because it is necessary to advance a compelling interest.

Florida - Miami

  Retention period depends on the crime: six months for traffic stops, 90 days for citizen contacts related to law enforcement matters, 3 years for impaired driver investigations, 1 year for pursuit (unless an arrest occurs, in which case arrest period applies), 90 days for calls for service, 6 months for transportation, 90 days for searches (unless an arrest occurs, in which case the arrest period applies), the later of 5 years and final disposition for felony arrests, the later of 3 years and final disposition for misdemeanor arrests.


  House Bill No. 976 requires recordings to be retained for at least 180 days, generally; at least 30 months if the recording is part of a criminal investigation, shows a vehicular accident, shows the detainment or arrest of an individual, or shows a law enforcement officer’s use of force; at least 30 months or until final adjudication if it is evidence that may be necessary for pending litigation.
  House Bill No. 976 states that no governing body or law enforcement officer has a duty to redact or obscure images in video recordings and faces no civil liabilities for any depictions.