JPD seeks public input for proposed body cam policy

JPD seeks public input for proposed body cam policy
(Source: KAIT)

JONESBORO, AR (KAIT) - The Jonesboro Police Department is seeking input from the public on their proposed policy for body worn cameras.

The meeting is scheduled for Sept. 21 at 5:30 p.m. in the city council chambers. Jonesboro Police Chief Rick Elliott and other members of the department will be on hand to answer questions about the proposed policy.

Earlier this year, the Jonesboro Police Department entered into an agreement with TASER to use their Axon Body 2 cameras on a trial basis for a year. The agreement didn't cost the city anything. According to a news release by Sgt. Cassie Brandon, after the year-long trial period is up, the department will determine if they want to continue using them.

The policy states the department intends to equip officers, especially those who have regular contact with the public, with the Body Worn Video Recorders, or BWV

"Officers shall activate the BWV when such use is appropriate to the proper performance of his or her official duties, where the recordings are consistent with this policy and law," the policy states. "This policy does not govern the use of surreptitious recording devices used in undercover operations or in-car-video covered under separate policy or directive.

Policy states as feasible, officers should record during:

  • Calls for service in which citizen contact is made
  • Traffic stops
  • All transports excluding ride-alongs
  • Investigative stops
  • Foot pursuits
  • Arrests, searches, seizures
  • Consensual encounters
  • Verbal victim, witness, or suspect statements
  • Miranda warnings and arrestee interviews
  • When arriving at law enforcement events and/or citizen contacts initiated by other officers
  • Other incidents the officer reasonably believes should be recorded for law enforcement purposes.

Officers are prohibited from turning off the camera during any citizen contact, and "shall not attempt to erase, alter, modify or tamper with BWV recordings."

Officers who use the cameras will receive training for use, maintenance, and required documentation and storage of the recordings.

Officers can wear the cameras on their body or through a glasses mount.

"Officers are authorized to record events when the officer is a party to the conversation, or when an individual is in custody and there is generally no expectation of privacy," the policy states.

The policy also includes instances when an officer should not activate their cameras. When officers are on break, engaging in personal activities, or when the expectation of privacy is expected, such as in a restroom, locker room, or another area where people might be exposed or in a compromised state, officers should not activate their BWV.

Policy states officers must also test their equipment at the beginning of each shift, whether on- or off-duty, to ensure they are working properly and have adequate battery life.

The entire policy can be viewed here:

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