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SE Colorado Law Enforcement Early on Body Cam Compliance

(La Junta, CO) -- Otero County Sheriff Shawn Mobley says his deputies have had body cams but adds that a grant recently helped them add more.

In response to legislation in 2020 that requires all law enforcement to wear body cameras by July of 2023, Sheriff Mobley tells us they're ready. Mobley says the grant that allowed them to add more will help move the older units to jail staff and possibly court officer, although they're working out some details on that due to privacy and legal issues.

Here's a video with a little more info.

Bent County Undersheriff Wick Turner recently told county commissioners they have received their body cameras and are currently training with them.

The Colorado Legislature passed, Senate Bill 20-217 in 2020 that required the cameras.

Here is a snapshot from the bill's final fiscal note on what the state expects to spend on the legislation.

Dozens of amendments were added to the bill before its final passage.

The bill, according to the summary text:

Beginning July 1, 2023, the act requires all local law enforcement agencies and the Colorado state patrol to issue body-worn cameras to their officers, except for those working in jails, working as administrative or civilian staff, the executive detail of the state patrol, and those working in court rooms. A peace officer shall wear and activate a body-worn camera when responding to a call for service or during any interaction with the public initiated by the peace officer when enforcing the law or investigating possible violations of the law. A peace officer may turn off a body-worn camera to avoid recording personal information that is not case related; when working on an unrelated assignment; when there is a long break in the incident or contact that is not related to the initial incident; and during administrative, tactical, and management discussions. A peace officer does not need to wear or activate a body-worn camera if the peace officer is working undercover. The act creates inferences, presumptions, and sanctions for failing to activate or tampering with a body-worn camera. The act requires all recordings of an incident be released to the public within 21 days after the local law enforcement agency or Colorado state patrol receives a complaint of misconduct. The act allows for redaction or nonrelease of the recording to the public if there is a specified privacy interest at stake.

Also on July 1st of 2023, an annual report of information must be submitted to catalog use of force, all instances of when an officer is under investigation of policy violations, information from traffic stops and officer contacts with the public and numbers related to no-knock warrants.


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