Police in South Carolina are coming up fast on the Monday deadline to put together body-worn camera rules and submit them for approval to the state’s Law Enforcement Training Council.
The council set Monday’s deadline after a decision by S.C. lawmakers in 2015, which required all state law enforcement agencies to implement body cams. Each agency’s policy must address things such as who is required to wear a camera, when the camera should be activated and how long footage is stored. Policies should comply with minimum standards set by the Training Council.
Between 150 to 175 agencies have had their policies approved, according to Maj. Florence McCants, spokeswoman for the S.C. Criminal Justice Academy, which the Training Council governs.. That’s out of about 320 law enforcement agencies throughout the state. Several more have policies under review at the academy.
“If they have not gotten a policy in, they have made contact with our staff in regards to getting that done,” McCants said.
The four staff attorneys at the academy are responsible for reviewing the policies, she said.
If agencies do not meet the Monday deadline, the academy will get in touch and offer to help with policy writing, McCants said.
“We recognize some of the agencies don’t have staff attorneys or maybe policy writers or things of that nature,” she said.
Once agencies have policies in place, they aren’t required to actually purchase body cams until they have a source of funding available.
There’s no plan at the moment for the academy to add body cam training to its mandatory 12-week program, McCants said.