Montgomery Toughens Rules on Police Body-Worn Cameras

Last week, the Montgomery County Council unanimously enacted legislation that would amend the existing internal affairs procedures and reporting requirements of the Montgomery County Police Department (MCPD) on body-worn cameras. 

The goal of the legislation is to improve police accountability and oversight through the requirement of random review of body-worn cameras for MCPD officers and prompt reporting of serious Internal Affairs Division (IAD) investigations.

“I introduced this bill after it came to light that two MCPD officers abused a five-year-old child who wandered off school grounds in my district,” said Council President Hucker. “The horrific incident was not reported quickly to the Chief of Police, and once it was, the incident was neither reported to the County Executive, the County Council, or the State’s Attorney, and was only made public a year later after a local reporter broke the story. This bill will rebuild trust in our police by ensuring that the public learns about investigations of abuse, use of force and other serious incidents involving police in a timely fashion” (press release).

According to a County press release, the bill will do the following:

  • Require the random internal review of certain body-worn camera recordings.
  • Require review by the Internal Affairs Division of certain body-worn camera recordings.
  • Require the internal reporting of certain investigations to the Chief of Police.
  • Require the reporting of certain investigations, investigative files, and body-worn camera recordings to the County Executive, the County Council, and the State’s Attorney.
  • Require maintenance of a log of each time a body-worn camera recording is accessed or redacted.
  • Generally, amend the law governing policing, body-worn camera recordings, and police internal affairs.

Read the full County press release.

At the MACo Winter Conference session, “Lights, Camera, Action: Introducing Body-worn Cameras in Public Safety,” an expert panel will discuss this next step in modern public safety, from the ground floor.

The 2021 MACo Winter Conference, “Time to Reboot: Tomorrow’s Tech Today,” will be held on December 8-10, 2021, at the Hyatt Regency Chesapeake Bay Hotel in Cambridge, Maryland.

Learn more about MACo’s Winter Conference:

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