|Posted:||March 27, 2014 10:12 AM|
|From:||Representative Dan Moul|
|To:||All House members|
|Subject:||Amend the Game and Wildlife Code|
|In the near future I will be introducing legislation to amend the Game and Wildlife Code to provide that Game Commission Officers meet the definition of “law enforcement officers” under the Wiretapping and Electronic Surveillance Control Act. The effect of this change will be to allow Wildlife Conservation Officers to use body cameras in the performance of their duties.
Act 9 of 2014 amended the Wiretap Act to allow certain entities which meet the definition of “law enforcement officers” to use body cameras. Under Act 9, the definition of “law enforcement officers” is limited to State Police and municipal officers. My legislation would provide in the Game and Wildlife Code that definition of “law enforcement officers” in the Wiretap Act includes Wildlife Conservation Officers.
The restrictions on body cameras set forth in Act 9 would still apply. At the time of the interception, the oral communication may not occur inside the residence of the individual. The officer must be clearly identifiable as a law enforcement officer. The officer must be in close proximity to the individual's communication. As soon as reasonably practicable, the officer must inform the individual that he has intercepted and recorded the oral communication.
Wildlife Conservation Officers routinely face dangerous situations while performing their duties. Tragically, in 2010, an Officer in my district was shot and killed while apprehending a felon in illegal possession of a firearm. I strongly believe that it is vital that we provide these officers with every available tool to allow them to perform their job. Furthermore, when there is an interaction between a law enforcement officer and an individual, the recording device protects both the officer and the individual.
I hope that you will join me in cosponsoring this legislation.
Introduced as HB2178