Body Camera Commission Releases Final Report

The Commission Regarding the Implementation and Use of Body Cameras by Law Enforcement Officers has released its final report to the Maryland General Assembly and the Maryland Police Training Commission (MPTC). The Commission was charged with studying and making recommendations on the best practices for the use of body cameras by a law enforcement officer by October 1, 2015. The  Commission had a short time frame to complete report after the initial August 4 meeting.

The Commission’s findings included best practices for testing, malfunctions, mandatory activation, prohibited activation, ending a recording, notification, confidentiality, required storage and maintenance of recording, review of recordings, retention of recordings, dissemination and release, training and discipline, discretionary activation, written policy required, incident reports, and agency policies.

The report included a separate recommendation to the General Assembly regarding public disclosure of camera footage:

After discussion at an open meeting, and by a substantial majority, the Commission respectfully and strongly recommends to the General Assembly of Maryland that is consider forthwith amending the Maryland Public Information Act (Annotated Code of Maryland, General Provisions Article  4-101 through 4-601) to incorporate provisions specifically governing the release of audio/video recordings captured by a law enforcement officer’s body-worn camera, to include but not limited to, those recordings which depict victims of violent crimes and domestic abuse.

The 20 member commission was chaired by Retired U.S. District Court Judge Frederic N. Smalkin and staffed by The Governor’s Office of Crime Control and Prevention. Commission members included Delegate Charles E. Sydnor and Senator Victor Ramirez as well as representatives from the Public Defender, Attorney General, ACLU, NAACP, State Prosecutors, advocate groups and various police departments across the state.

For more information read the Commission’s final report.

Previous coverage on Conduit Street:

Police Body Camera Commission Explores Best Practices

Body Camera Commission Begins Work on Developing Best Practices