MACo Opposes Mandate on Video Recording Equipment

MACo Policy Analyst, Natasha Mehu testified to the House Judiciary Committee on February 23, 2016 in opposition to HB 482, Vehicle Laws – Law Enforcement Transport Vehicles – Recording Equipment.

This bill creates an unfunded mandate by requiring police transport vehicles to be equipped with audio and video recording equipment in passenger areas.

From the MACo testimony,

HB 482 presents both fiscal and technical difficulties. The upfront costs to obtain audio and video recording equipment as well as the costs to retrofit transport vehicles with the equipment can be significant – upwards of thousands of dollars per vehicle.

Local governments would also face additional costs and responsibility for the maintenance and storage of camera footage. The extent of which would depend on how much footage is being generated and how long it must be stored.

Rather than imposing a mandate, grants and other technical support could be explored as a means of expanding use and access to transport camera systems. This approach would be similar to that taken for body cameras, which are not required under state law but are incentivized through state and federal grant programs.

For more on 2016 MACo legislation, visit the Legislative Database.