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Body Camera Laws by State 2024

Body Camera Laws by State 2024

States That Require Law Enforcement Officers to Wear Body Cameras

Although there is much confusion and legislation regarding body cameras, a few states have made this a requirement for all their police and law enforcement officers. For those not wearing body cams, a proper reason must be stated for doing so. These states are California, Connecticut, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Maryland, Minnesota, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Mexico, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Texas, Utah, Virginia, Washington, and Wisconsin. There is also existing legislation in the District of Columbia.

Recently passed legislation has added a few new states to the list of those who require body cameras. Colorado, Delaware, Indiana, New Jersey, and New York have all added laws in the past couple of years to require body camera footage.

States That Are Considering Requiring Body Cameras

While the states listed above have mandated this, six more states have pending legislation surrounding the use of body cams for law enforcement officers. These states are Illinois, Iowa, Michigan, Missouri, Oklahoma, and Tennessee.

Some of these states already have laws regarding the use of body cameras such as if audio-only recording is prohibited, if all parties must consent to being filmed, and how long body camera footage must be stored.

The main issues surrounding the laws and regulations are disseminating footage and making it available to the public. Of course, there are certain circumstances where agencies cannot post everything they have recorded, as it would either encroach on the privacy of the individual being filmed or may leak confidential material that is important to the safety and security of the public and the station. As such, much of the footage cannot be released unless it is for specified statutory purposes.

Why Mandates Are Being Put in Place

The need for body cameras on police officers has arisen because of the public outcry about the conduct of all officers. While this may seem like a move that is a direct result of public action, wearing body cameras also protects the officers from allegations against them. It also holds them to a higher professional standard, especially if the law enforcement unit must draw their weapons.

Ideal situations rarely occur, and some leeway must be given. For example, New Jersey and South Carolina implement the law on the contingency that the legislature funds programs. This means capital allocation must be moved around or raised to fund these initiatives properly.

News outlets have criticized the conduct of police officers, both in terms of their response speed and ability to make difficult choices when faced with an angry, scared, or innocent civilian in recent years. Namely, the public outcry about such events as BLM and school shootings has sparked a debate about gun laws, police efficacy, and the need to hold officers accountable for their profession and duty. In response to civilian videos being populated over the internet, states seriously consider mandates so law enforcement officers can share their stories.

Body Camera Laws by State 2024

Abbreviations used in table headers are defined as follows:
- No Audio: Audio recordings prohibited, but video-only recordings may be permissible.
- All-Party Consent: All parties present on the recording must consent to being recorded. Exceptions for certain law enforcement scenarios may exist.
- Privacy Priority: Recordings are restricted in areas where a reasonable expectation of privacy exists, examples of which include public restrooms, hospitals, lawyer's offices, and private residences.
- Deny Requests: Law-enforcement officials are permitted to deny public records requests in order to protect public safety, security, or ongoing investigations.
- Create Group: Creates or recommends a study group or pilot to investigate best practices with regard to the use of body cameras and the footage they generate.
- Dictates Use: Laws guide the requirement and usage of body cameras by law enforcement officials.
- Access to Footage: State legislation establishes rules regarding public access to body camera footage.
- Storage Time: Legal guidelines exist regarding the amount of time for which body camera footage must be stored before it can be discarded or erased.

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State
Prohibit Audio
Req All Party Consent
Restricted in Private
Exempt from Records Reqs
Creates Group or Pilot
Dictate Camera Use
Rules for Public Access
Prescribes Storage Time
AlabamaNo legislationYesYesYesNo legislationNo legislationNo legislationNo legislation
AlaskaYesYesYesYesNo legislationNo legislationNo legislationNo legislation
ArizonaYesYesYesYesYesNo legislationNo legislationNo legislation
ArkansasYesYesYesYesNo legislationNo legislationYesYes
CaliforniaNo legislationYesYesYesYesYesYesYes
ColoradoYesYesNo legislationYesYesRecent legislationYesNo legislation
ConnecticutYesYesNo legislationYesYesYesRecent legislationNo legislation
DelawareYesYesYesYesYesRecent legislationYesYes
District of ColumbiaYesYesYesYesNo legislationYesYesYes
FloridaYesYesYesYesNo legislationYesYesYes
GeorgiaYesYesYesYesNo legislationYesYesYes
HawaiiYesYesYesYesNo legislationYesNo legislationNo legislation
IdahoYesYesYesYesNo legislationNo legislationNo legislationYes
IllinoisYesYesYesYesNo legislationPending legislationNo legislationPending legislation
IndianaYesYesNo legislationYesNo legislationRecent legislationYesYes
IowaYesYesYesPending legislationNo legislationPending legislationPending legislationPending legislation
KansasYesYesYesYesNo legislationNo legislationYesNo legislation
KentuckyYesYesNo legislationYesNo legislationNo legislationRecent legislationPending legislation
LouisianaYesYesYesYesRecent legislationNo legislationRecent legislationNo legislation
MaineYesYesYesYesNo legislationNo legislationNo legislationNo legislation
MarylandYesYesYesYesYesYesYesYes
MassachusettsYesYesYesYesYesNo legislationNo legislationNo legislation
MichiganYesYesYesYesNo legislationPending legislationYesYes
MinnesotaYesYesNo legislationYesNo legislationYesPending legislationYes
MississippiNo legislationYesYesYesNo legislationNo legislationNo legislationNo legislation
MissouriYesYesYesPending legislationPending legislationPending legislationYesNo legislation
MontanaYesYesYesYesNo legislationNo legislationNo legislationNo legislation
NebraskaYesYesYesYesYesYesYesYes
NevadaYesYesYesYesNo legislationYesYesYes
New HampshireYesYesYesNo legislationRecent legislationYesYesYes
New JerseyYesYesYesYesNo legislationRecent legislationYesYes
New MexicoYesYesYesYesNo legislationYesYesYes
New YorkYesYesYesYesRecent legislationRecent legislationNo legislationRecent legislation
North CarolinaYesYesYesYesPending legislationNo legislationRecent legislationRecent legislation
North DakotaYesYesYesYesNo legislationNo legislationYesNo legislation
OhioYesYesYesYesYesYesYesYes
OklahomaYesYesYesYesNo legislationPending legislationYesYes
OregonYesYesYesYesNo legislationYesYesYes
PennsylvaniaYesYesYesYesNo legislationYesYesYes
Rhode IslandYesYesYesYesNo legislationNo legislationNo legislationNo legislation
South CarolinaYesYesYesYesYesYesPending legislationPending legislation
South DakotaYesYesYesYesNo legislationNo legislationYesNo legislation
TennesseeYesYesYesYesPending legislationPending legislationYesNo legislation
TexasYesYesYesYesNo legislationYesYesYes
UtahYesYesNo legislationYesNo legislationYesYesYes
VermontNo legislationNo legislationYesYesYesNo legislationYesYes
VirginiaYesYesYesYesYesYesRecent legislationYes
WashingtonYesYesYesYesYesYesYesYes
West VirginiaYesYesYesYesNo legislationNo legislationNo legislationNo legislation
WisconsinYesYesYesYesNo legislationYesYesYes
WyomingYesYesYesYesNo legislationNo legislationYesNo legislation
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Body Camera Laws by State 2024

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