Florida Legislation Would Mandate Police Wear Body Cameras

Supporters of the bills said body cameras can help clear up questions about confrontations between police and members of the public.

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – Lawmakers here are debating whether or not most police officers in Florida should be required to wear body cameras.

The measure, filed by two Democrats, would mandate that all officers who regularly make routine traffic stops must wear the cameras, news4jax.com reports.

Body cameras have become a high-profile issue recently, with several officer-involved shootings across Florida and the nation raising questions about whether the police action was warranted. Supporters of the legislation say body cameras can help clear up questions about confrontations between police and members of the public.

Current Florida law requires any agencies that volunteer to have the cameras must establish procedures for the use and maintenance of the body cameras and the data they record.

“Everybody does not trust police officers anymore. We have to stop that,” State Sen. Daphne Campbell, (D) Miami, said in a statement. “This is why this bill is so important, just to get back the trust between police officers and the communities.”

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Bill sponsors say they have not yet talked with the Florida Police Chiefs Association or the Florida Sheriff’s Association on the measure.

If passed, all law enforcement agencies that have officers who make routine traffic stops would need to comply with the bill by Jan. 1, 2018.

The plan has not yet been heard by a legislative committee.

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