Body Worn Camera Policies

Texas Occupations Code §1701.655 establishes requirements for body worn camera policies for law enforcement agencies implementing a body worn camera program. The list below includes the items required to appear in your agency’s policy.

The policy must include:

Guidelines for when a peace officer should activate a camera or discontinue a recording currently in progress, considering the need for privacy in certain situations and at certain locations.
 
Provisions relating to data retention, including a provision requiring the retention of video for a minimum period of 90 days.
 
Provisions relating to storage of video and audio, creation of backup copies of the video and audio, and maintenance of data security.
 
Guidelines for public access, through open records requests, to recordings that are public information.
 
Provisions entitling an officer to access any recording of an incident involving the officer before the officer are required to make a statement about the incident.
 
Procedures for supervisory or internal review.
 
The handling and documenting of equipment and malfunctions of equipment.

 

Other requirements:

A policy may not require a peace officer to keep a body worn camera activated for the entire period of the officer's shift.
 
A policy adopted under this section must be consistent with the Federal Rules of Evidence and Texas Rules of Evidence.
 
A policy must ensure that a body worn camera is activated only for a law enforcement purpose.

Two sample policies are provided below. The samples should be amended to fit any of your agency’s individual requirements.

Sample 1

Sample 2