House Passes Bill allowing Law Officers to Review Camera Footage Prior to report

Mar 14, 2024
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OKLAHOMA CITY – Rep. Ross Ford, R-Broken Arrow, this week passed legislation in the House that would allow police to review camera footage before completing reports or making statements regarding events while they are performing their official duties. 

House Bill 3598 would require law enforcement agencies that utilize any type of camera system – including fixed security cameras in a police station or law enforcement office, vehicle mounted cameras, or body cameras worn by peace officers – to establish policies and procedures addressing the proper use, maintenance, and storage of the various cameras and the data recorded.

The policies would be individual to each entity, but they must include guidelines that permit a peace officer to review the recorded data before writing a report or providing a statement about any event during performance of their official duties.

"We're looking for accuracy," Ford said.

Ford, a former police officer, said this would be akin to referring to notes taken at a crime scene before completing reports, or the same as allowing officers the ability to look at documents to refresh their memory before they go to court.

The policies also must include guidelines regarding the proper release of audio and video data in compliance with the Oklahoma Open Records Act. Ford said he filed an amendment to the bill that specifies that any policy permitting review of recorded footage by a peace officer may not be used to delay or deny records requests or public access to recorded footage from such cameras.

Ford also passed House Bill 3885 on the House floor.

The measure would extend the amount of time municipal or district courts would have to file for misdemeanor warrants for a traffic citation when a defendant was released on personal recognizance but failed to appear in court and no arrangement was made with the court to satisfy the citation. The bill moves the requirement to file the warrant from 120 days to one year, giving municipalities and courts more time to obtain accurate records from Service Oklahoma.

The measures now move to the Senate for consideration. 

Oklahoma House of Representatives seal