Access to police-camera footage must improve, open-government advocates say

Government emails, metadata also top list of FOI-tech issues that leave us in the dark FOR RELEASE: March 14, 2022 Contact: Todd Fettig, NFOIC executive director  Phone: 352-294-7082   Email: March 14, 2022 — The public too often is being denied access to police body- and dash-cam footage. This ranks as the most critical…


Connecticut requires police body cameras, but bill doesn’t appoint overseer

Connecticut police departments must equip all officers with body cameras by July 2022. But the bill requiring body cameras didn’t designate a state agency to oversee implementation. “There is no enforcement mechanism regarding compliance,” said Marc Pelka, the undersecretary for criminal justice policy and planning at the state’s Office of Policy and Management. According to…


Having police body-worn cameras is one thing; releasing footage another, Wisconsin station says

Milwaukee, Wisconsin, police began using body-worn cameras in 2015, but the public’s access to footage is limited in the state, according to WTMJ-TV. “We’re at the second phase of the battle,” said Attorney B’Ivory LaMarr, who represents the family of Joel Acevedo, who died after an off-duty police officer allegedly held him in a chokehold….


Police body-camera footage: Too redacted, too costly, too delayed, transparency experts say

Body-cameras, heralded as a technology to enhance police transparency, haven’t done enough to ensure the public’s right to know, because agencies often heavily edit the footage. Not only does such editing obscure the footage, it also adds substantial costs and delays. That’s according to transparency experts and advocates who spoke to the Daily Memphian for…


Rules on releasing police body-camera footage vary; nine states are most restrictive, The Hill says

Alabama, Arizona, Kansas, Maine, Missouri, North Carolina, South Carolina, Texas and Wyoming have the most restrictive laws regarding the disclosure of police body-camera recordings. That’s according to a May 10, 2021, article in The Hill. “With no federal requirements on releasing police videos, states often differ in their approach to making the footage publicly available,…


Compilation: How local governments thwart open-records laws and keep vital information from the public.

In dozens of U.S. cities and states, the rights to publish state and local laws don’t belong to the people or the governments. They belong to private contractors.  (Read more…) A federal law has been interpreted by many state governments and state courts to allow their agencies to keep secret studies, surveys and other data…


From $37 to $339,000: Why the Price of Public Records Requests Varies So Much

Local and state laws regarding what constitutes the public’s domain are about as uniform as a patchwork quilt. And technology — or a lack thereof — further contributes to the increasing cost variance between jurisdictions.

New IT software, for the governments that can afford it, has certainly sped up the time it takes to fulfill requests and thus lowered the price of information. But in some cases, technology can complicate matters. This issue is particularly heightened when privacy concerns require time-consuming redaction work.


South Portland Police Department releases its body camera policy

The South Portland Police Department has released the document that spells out its officers should use the body cameras that they will begin wearing in a few weeks.

The department posted the policy on its Facebook page following calls from civil liberties advocates for assurance the the cameras will not be used to invade people’s privacy. The policy was not initially released when the department announced that it would begin using the technology. The ACLU of Maine filed a public records request for the document, according Legal Director Zach Heiden.


Florida FAF: All Delray police officers will have body cameras within 5 years

The Delray Beach Police Department will equip all of its officers with body cameras within five years after the city agreed Tuesday to put nearly $1 million toward the venture.

“This is going to be the norm in law enforcement,” Police Chief Jeff Goldman told the city commission Tuesday evening. “We are just a proactive organization and we try to stay ahead of curve.”