Counties Approve of State-Level Support to Implement Body-Worn Camera Programs

On February 7, 2023, Associate Policy Director Sarah Sample testified before the House Judiciary Committee in support of HB 0332 – Public Safety – Law Enforcement – Body-Worn Cameras (Body-Worn Camera Appropriation and Financing Act of 2023).

The bill’s cross-file, SB 0330, will be heard in the Senate Judicial Proceedings Committee on February 14.

The forthcoming mandate that each county law enforcement officer be equipped with a body-worn camera carries with it significant expense, as well as logistical challenges related to the storage and curation of footage. By enabling counties to access the necessary funds for implementing a body-worn camera program via contracts negotiated by the Department of General Services on behalf of state and local law enforcement agencies, HB 0332 addresses many of these challenges. Still, the Maryland Association of Counties (MACo) urges the General Assembly to consider amendments that add further clarity to process by which counties can opt-in to the state provisions.

From the MACo Testimony:

Giving counties the ability to take part in contracts that are negotiated at the state level avoids a mass duplication of effort or the potential for individual counties to incur the kind of premiums that often accompany single-user contracts. Additionally, under this legislation, counties who have taken the initiative to get their body-worn camera programs up and running would reserve the flexibility to carry on with their own provisions, or to evaluate the central offerings as warranted.

More on MACo’s Advocacy:

Follow MACo’s advocacy efforts during the 2023 legislative session on MACo’s Legislative Tracking Database

Learn more about MACo’s 2023 Legislative Initiatives

Read more General Assembly News on MACo’s Conduit Street blog