MACo Legislative Director Natasha Mehu submitted testimony to the House Judiciary Committee to support HB 739 – Law Enforcement Body Camera Task Force. This bill seeks to coordinate and develop solutions to the costly issue of police body cameras by establishing the Law Enforcement Body Camera Task Force that is charged with studying options for the economical storage of audio and video recordings made by bodyworn cameras (BWCs) and recommending budget-conscious storage solutions.
From the MACo Testimony:
While several counties and municipalities have launched body camera programs, the costs associated with the programs—which can reach into the tens of millions of dollars for multiyear comprehensive contracts—can be prohibitive to other jurisdictions. One area in particular that can be cost burdensome is the storage of the audio and video footage from the cameras.
Best practices and policies established by state law require law enforcement to follow proper procedures and requirements for data storage and retention as well as for review and release of the footage as required by the Maryland Public Information Act. Proper storage and staff time to comply with these requirements are costly factors that should be considered carefully.
Follow MACo’s advocacy efforts during the 2020 legislative session on MACo’s Legislative Tracking Database.