SLC Regional Resource | April 2017

Body-Worn Cameras: Laws and Policies in the South

Nick Bowman

In recent years, several high-profile, law enforcement officer-involved shootings have thrust body-worn cameras (BWCs), or the lack thereof, into the spotlight. Proponents of BWCs maintain that they increase law enforcement transparency and improve relations between law enforcement and citizens. In contrast, BWC opponents argue that the cameras give an incomplete picture of incidents and add another cost to operating budgets which, in many law enforcement agencies (LEAs), already are stretched thin.

Due to the recent emergence of BWCs and their rapidly developing technology, LEAs and governments still are developing policies and statutes to regulate their use. This SLC Regional Resource examines the history of and predecessors to BWCs; policy issues associated with them, including considerations for implementation such as data storage, staffing and privacy; and existing laws and policies that regulate their use in the 15 SLC member states.