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Foster and Hahn Introduce Police Body Camera Legislation

Sep 17, 2015
Press Release

Washington, DC—Today, Congressman Bill Foster (IL-11) and Congresswoman Janice Hahn (CA-44) introduced the “Safer Officers and Safer Citizens Act of 2015,” legislation to provide federal grant funding to outfit law enforcement officers with body cameras. The bill is the House version of a Senate bill recently introduced by Senators Cory Booker and Tim Scott.

“This is a common sense solution to bring more accountability and transparency to our criminal justice system. Studies have shown that the use of body cameras not only provides a more accurate record of events, but also leads to less use of force,” said Congressman Foster. “As many have said, justice delayed is justice denied. Arming our police force with body cameras will go a long way to ensure justice is served swiftly, both for citizens and the officers assigned to protect us.”

“At a time of tension and eroding trust between law enforcement and the public in many communities, body cameras help hold police officers accountable and encourage them to act appropriately as they protect and serve,” said Congresswoman Hahn. “This legislation enables departments to purchase body cameras without cutting or diverting funds from other important programs including community outreach efforts.”

The “Safer Officers and Safer Citizens Act of 2015” will provide $100 million annually to state, local and tribal law enforcement departments through a grant program to outfit their officers with body cameras. Grant recipients will be required to match 25 percent of the grand funds, and preferential consideration will be given to departments whose policies regarding body-worn cameras meet the following criteria:

  •          A comprehensive policy developed in consultation with criminal justice experts and community members
  •          Contains policies and procedures addressing deployment, video capture, viewing, use, release, storage, retention, audits and controls
  •          Are supported by a comprehensive communication and education campaign
  •          Are informed by the best practices on body-worn cameras developed by the Department of Justice
  •          Commit to submitting data for the purposes of studying the effectiveness of the use of body-worn cameras