KLCIS Law Enforcement Model Policy for Body Worn Cameras
The Kentucky League of Cities Insurance Services (KLCIS) has received several requests for a model policy covering body cameras. Many of the requests are a result of the Ferguson, Missouri shooting.
KLCIS has been a supporter of mobile video recorders for years and also supports the use of body cameras. We have found that cameras have been a benefit to our officers clearing them from false accusations. The cameras also act as a supervisor and provide oversight for Law Enforcement especially in smaller departments.
However, we have resisted an unfunded mandate to require all departments to equip their officers with Body Cameras. There are the initial costs of purchase which does not include the hidden cost of maintenance, replacement, storage of video and the administrative cost of handling open records requests. Therefore, we feel that departments/cities should make their own decisions on purchasing body cameras.
If departments decide to adopt the use of body cameras, clear polices should be adopted and in place prior to their implementation. KLCIS and the Model Policy Committee have been working on a policy for several months and have finalized one for all Kentucky police departments to use (not just KLCIS members).
Departments adopting Body Cameras should keep in mind that any video created by BWV devices must be retained in accordance with Department of Libraries and Archives Record Retention Schedule which can be found here.
The KY Department of Libraries and Archives L6707 Body-Worn Camera Recordings (Audio/Video) states that they should be “kept for sixty days (60) days, then destroyed. If any investigation, litigation, or open records request involving these records is taking place or is pending, maintain until all investigative or legal activity is completed.”
However, we strongly recommend visiting the listed website for detailed information due to the fact that there are additional retentions issues related to Juveniles, DUI etc.
This final draft had several revisions and should be considered like all policies as a living document. Departments should expect changes as new case law comes out that defines the issues surrounding body cam use.