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Friday, August 14, 2015

Illinois Body Camera Bill Becomes Law

We previously posted about SB 1304, the bill that would establish the "Law Enforcement Officer-Work Body Camera Act."  That bill passed both Illinois houses, and went to the Illinois Governor for signature.  Earlier this week, Governor Rauner signed that bill into law becoming P.A. 99-0352. Portions of the bill become effective immediately, and others will become effective January 1, 2016.

We will be providing additional information about the new law to our clients after we have had an opportunity to  analyze the various regulations, restrictions, and requirements in the new law.

In the interim, I've reprinted below our summary of some of the new regulations from our previous post on June 1st.

The bill does not mandate that police departments require their officers to wear body cameras, but it does establish certain guidelines for their use and requires local police departments to adopt policies consistent with those statutory guidelines.  A few of these guidelines are summarized below:

1.  The cameras must be capable of recording at least the 30 seconds prior to camera activation.

2.  The camera must be capable of recording for at least 10 hours.

3.  The camera must be turned on at all times when the officer is in uniform and is responding to calls or engaged in any law enforcement-related encounter or activity that occurs while the officer is on-duty.  This requirement contains a number of exceptions to protect witness confidentiality, etc.

4.  The camera must be turned off when the officer is engaged in community caretaking functions.

5.  The officer must notify a person of the recording if that person has a reasonable expectation of privacy.

6. Access to recordings is restricted, although they might be subject to release under FOIA in limited circumstances.

7.  Recordings must be retained for 90 days.

8. Recordings cannot be used in officer disciplinary proceedings except in certain limited circumstances.

Post Authored by Julie Tappendorf


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