|Posted:||December 1, 2016 12:51 PM|
|From:||Representative Dan Moul|
|To:||All House members|
|Subject:||Body Cameras for Sheriffs and Deputies - Prior HB 1301|
|Act 9 from the last legislative session amended the wiretap act to permit law enforcement officers who are in uniform to use devices to record oral communication if they are in uniform or clearly identified as such. Previously, such devices could only be used if they were mounted on a vehicle. The exception for dash cams that was extended by Act 9 now permits officers to use “body cams” that record audio and video.
Act 9 however defines “law enforcement officer” to include only State Police and municipal police officers. It does not permit sheriffs to use these devices.
Sheriff’s frequently come into contact with citizens under circumstances which can become confrontational, such as when serving process or a warrant. The rationale that applies to the change to allow police to use body cameras applies equally to sheriffs and sheriffs’ deputies: The need to document interactions with citizens to protect the officer and citizen from disputed claims.
I intend to offer legislation to extend the exception for audio recording with non-vehicle mounted devices to sheriffs and deputy sheriffs who have completed the required training under the Sheriff and Deputy Sheriff Education and Training Act.
Introduced as HB142