Congressman Tim Ryan Announces Support for Police CAMERA Act
Washington, DC – Congressman Tim Ryan today is announcing his support for the Police CAMERA Act of 2015 (HR 1680), which would build on the effectiveness of the In-Car Camera Incentive Program. By providing resources so that local law enforcement agencies can begin body-worn camera pilot programs this legislation aims to make our streets and communities safer. It would also study the impacts of body-worn cameras on excessive use of force and develop protocols for protecting individuals’ privacy rights. Preliminary evidence shows that in places where police have these types of pilot programs there has been a drop in incidents of excessive use of force and complaints against police.
“Police body cameras will help restore trust between our police departments and the people they serve. Studies have found that body-worn cameras reduced the use of force by 50 percent and complaints against police by 90 percent compared to the previous year," said Congressman Ryan. "Passage of this legislation will provide federal resources to our local enforcement agencies and pay up to 75% of the total cost of body-worn cameras. This program will enhance officer safety, increase accountability and hopefully begin the long needed healing process in communities in Ohio and across the nation.”
The CAMERA Act of 2015 would establish a pilot grant program through the Office of Justice Programs in the Department of Justice using existing funding to assist state, local, and tribal law enforcement agencies with purchasing or leasing body-worn cameras and other implementation costs. Grantees must develop protocols for the safe and effective use of body-worn cameras, including data management and the protection of privacy rights. Grantees must also collect and report data on the use of force and the disposition of complaints against officers.
A companion bill, S.877, has also been introduced in the U.S. Senate.