LINCOLN, Neb. — The Nebraska Commission on Law Enforcement and Criminal Justice has approved a statewide policy on body-worn cameras.
The policy was adopted Friday after three hours of testimony from law enforcement officials, the Lincoln Journal Star reported (http://bit.ly/2ecPHJP ).
The policy doesn’t require agencies to buy or use body cameras but creates minimum standards for their use. Among those is the requirement that most interactions of police with the public be recorded. Exceptions listed in the policy include interviews with domestic assault and rape victims and casual interactions at festivals and some policy-sponsored events, such as National Night Out.
Crete Police Chief Steve Hensel told the commission that body cameras have been a blessing for his force.
“Say we get a complaint against an officer,” Hensel said. “We can look at that video, and it’s very helpful. If we have to take a case to court and the defense knows there’s video of what we’re alleging, usually a plea is made. It’s taxpayer savings.”
Among concerns voiced Friday was whether officers must ask permission to record interactions with the public. Nebraska law requires only one party to know if a recording device is being used.
In the end, the policy states officers can ask permission, but are not required to do so.
Officials also raised questions about school resource officers wearing body cameras while interacting with minors. The commission agreed those officers would need to turn on their cameras only during investigations or arrests.
Information from: Lincoln Journal Star, http://www.journalstar.com