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Senate of Pennsylvania
Session of 2017 - 2018 Regular Session


Posted: January 10, 2017 10:39 AM
From: Senator James R. Brewster
To: All Senate members
Subject: Body Cameras
In the near future, I will be reintroducing SB 483 of 2015-2016. This legislation will allow police officers who are wearing body cameras to continue to use their cameras when they are inside of homes or other buildings.

Currently, the state’s wiretap law prohibits police officers from recording audio conversations that occur inside the residence of an individual. This presents problems for officers who are increasingly being equipped with body cameras. Officers currently would have to check to see if their cameras are off before entering a residence, even if they are entering in emergency situations. It is not in the best interest of our officers or the citizens that they serve to ask officers to carry out this task.

My legislation will allow officers to use their body cameras to record interactions if they enter a residence with a reasonable belief that a crime is being committed, in pursuit of someone they believe to have committed a crime, or if they notify and receive consent from the residents.

Introduced as SB454