BILL ANALYSIS                                                                                                                                                                                                    

                             Senator Ricardo Lara, Chair
                            2015 - 2016  Regular  Session

          AB 69 (Rodriguez) - Peace officers:  body-worn cameras
          |                                                                 |
          |                                                                 |
          |                                                                 |
          |                                |                                |
          |Version: August 18, 2015        |Policy Vote: PUB. S. 7 - 0      |
          |                                |                                |
          |                                |                                |
          |Urgency: No                     |Mandate: No                     |
          |                                |                                |
          |                                |                                |
          |Hearing Date:  August 24, 2015  |Consultant: Jolie Onodera       |
          |                                |                                |

          This bill meets the criteria for referral to the Suspense File. 


          Summary:  AB 69 would require law enforcement agencies,  
          departments, and entities to consider specified best practices  
          when establishing policies and procedures for the implementation  
          and operation of a body-worn camera system, including issues  
          related to the downloading and storage of data from body-worn  

           Potentially major non-reimbursable local costs (Local Funds)  
            to law enforcement and other local agencies that opt to  
            implement a body-worn camera system.
           Potential major future cost pressure (General Fund/Special  
            Fund) to various state agencies including but not limited to  
            the California Highway Patrol (CHP), Department of Justice  
            (DOJ), Department of Fish and Wildlife (DFW), and the  
            Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR), to the  
            extent these agencies implement a body-worn camera system in  


          AB 69 (Rodriguez)                                      Page 1 of  
            the future. The 2015 Budget Act includes $1 million for the  
            CHP to conduct a pilot program to study the use of body-worn  

          Background:  As the use of body-worn cameras by law enforcement agencies  
          becomes more prevalent, it is becoming increasingly important  
          for agencies to consider and institute best practices for the  
          utilization of this technology. 
          The U.S. Department of Justice noted in its report on the use of  
          body-worn cameras by police agencies, Implementing a Body-Worn  
          Camera Program: Recommendations and Lessons Learned (Miller and  
          Toliver, November 2014), that body-worn cameras can assist  
          agencies in demonstrating transparency and help address the  
          community's concerns regarding controversial events. The report  
          discussed various benefits of the technology and made specified  
          recommendations with regard to data storage and retention  
          policies. This bill seeks to ensure that agencies choosing to  
          implement body-worn cameras do so using best practices when  
          establishing policies and procedures for downloading and storing  
          data from body-worn cameras. 

          Proposed Law:  
           This bill states the intent of the Legislature to establish  
          policies and procedures to address issues related to the  
          downloading and storage data recorded by a body-worn camera worn  
          by a peace officer. This bill requires law enforcement agencies,  
          departments, or entities to consider the following best  
          practices when establishing policies and procedures for the  
          implementation and operation of a body-worn camera system:
                 Designate the person responsible for downloading the  
               recorded data from the body-worn camera. If the storage  
               system does not have automatic downloading capability, the  
               officer's supervisor should take immediate physical custody  
               of the camera and should be responsible for downloading the  
               data in the case of an incident involving the use of force  
               by an officer, an officer-involved shooting, or other  
               serious incident.

                 Establish when data should be downloaded to ensure the  


          AB 69 (Rodriguez)                                      Page 2 of  
               data is entered into the system in a timely manner, the  
               cameras are properly maintained and ready for the next use,  
               and for purposes of tagging and categorizing the data.

                 Establish specific measures to prevent data tampering,  
               deleting, and copying, including prohibiting the  
               unauthorized use, duplication, or distribution of body-worn  
               camera data.

                 Categorize and tag body-worn camera video at the time  
               the data is downloaded and classified according to the type  
               of event or incident captured in the data;

                 Specifically state the length of time that recorded data  
               is to be stored.

               o      Unless either of the paragraphs below applies,  
                 nonevidentiary data including video and audio recorded by  
                 a body-worn camera should be retained for a minimum of 60  
                 days, after which it will be erased, destroyed, or  
                 recycled. Agencies may keep data longer to preserve  
                 transparency and to have it available in case a citizen  
                 complaint arises.

               o      Evidentiary data including video and audio recorded  
                 by a body-worn camera under this section should be  
                 retained for a minimum of two years when the recording is  
                 of an incident involving use of force or an  
                 officer-involved shooting, an incident that leads to the  
                 detention or arrest of an individual, or is relevant to a  
                 formal or informal complaint against an officer or a law  
                 enforcement agency.

               o      If evidence that may be relevant to a criminal  
                 prosecution is obtained from a recording made by a  
                 body-worn camera, the law enforcement agency should  
                 retain the recording for any time in addition to the  
                 amount of time specified above and in the same manner as  


          AB 69 (Rodriguez)                                      Page 3 of  
                 is required by law for other evidence that may be  
                 relevant to a criminal prosecution.

               o      In determining a retention schedule, each agency  
                 should work with its legal counsel to ensure that storage  
                 policies and practices are in compliance with all  
                 relevant laws and adequately preserve evidentiary chain  
                 of custody.

               o      Records or logs of access and deletion of data from  
                 body-worn cameras should be retained permanently.

                 State where the body-worn camera data will be stored;  
               including, for example, an in-house server which is managed  
               internally, or an online cloud database which is managed by  
               a third- party vendor. 

                 If using a third-party vendor to manage the data storage  
               system, specifies factors that should be considered to  
               protect the security and integrity of the data:

                 Require that all recorded data from body-worn cameras  
               are property of their respective law enforcement agency and  
               shall not be accessed or released for any unauthorized  
               purpose, explicitly prohibit agency personnel from  
               accessing recorded data for personal use and from uploading  
               recorded data onto public and social media Internet Web  
               sites, and include sanctions for violations of this  

          Legislation:  SB 175 (Huff) 2015 would require every law  
          enforcement department and agency that elects to require its  
          peace officers to wear body-worn cameras to develop a policy  
          relating to the use of those cameras, as specified. This bill is  
          pending on the Assembly Floor.


          AB 69 (Rodriguez)                                      Page 4 of  
          SB 424 (Pan) Chapter 159/2015 would authorize peace officers of  
          a university or college campus to eavesdrop in any criminal  
          investigation related to sexual assault or other sexual  
          offenses, and to use or operate body-worn cameras.

          Comments:  This bill requires agencies that opt to implement a  
          body-worn camera system to consider best practices including  
          guidelines for downloading and storing body-worn camera data. As  
          a result, the provisions of this bill could result in  
          significant non-reimbursable local costs for local agencies  
          implementing the best practices outlined in the bill. The  
          provisions of this bill also create significant future cost  
          pressure on state agencies including but not limited to the CHP,  
          DOJ, CDCR, and DFW to the extent these agencies implement a  
          body-worn camera system in the future. 
          Staff notes the 2015 Budget Act (AB 93 (Chapter 10/2015))  
          authorizes $1 million from the Motor Vehicle Account for the CHP  
          to conduct a pilot program to study the use of body-worn  
          cameras. Prior to expenditure of these funds, the CHP is  
          required to outline the proposed scope of the study in writing  
          to the Joint Legislative Budget Committee and the chairpersons  
          of the budget subcommittees in both houses.

          According to a recent article by the Pew Charitable Trust  
          entitled "States Struggle to Pay for Police Body Cameras," (May  
          1, 2015): 

              As the nationwide push intensifies for police to wear  
              body cameras, states and cities have encountered one  
              consistent roadblock to adopting the technology: the  

              The Police Executive Research Forum survey found most  
              agencies spent between $800 and $1,200 per camera to  
              purchase them, a daunting price tag for departments  
              already strapped for cash.

              But it is the ongoing costs that are the real  
              challenge. The New Orleans Police Department plans to  


          AB 69 (Rodriguez)                                      Page 5 of  
              purchase 350 body cameras, but is budgeting $1.2  
              million over five years, mostly for data storage.  
              Other departments, the police forum found, expect to  
              spend $2 million for a few years of data storage.

              Many states are debating the issues that surround  
              police cameras without tackling the funding question,  
              said Richard Williams, a criminal justice policy  
              specialist with the NCSL. In many instances, he said,  
              lawmakers are focused how long departments should have  
              to keep video, and if or when recordings should be  
              made public. ?

              Miller, with the Police Executive Research Forum, said  
              those issues are important, but that for police  
              departments, cost is the overriding concern.

              Officers could potentially record millions of videos a  
              year, any number of which could be used as part of a  
              criminal proceeding, a public records request or for  
              another official purpose. The cost of downloading,  
              logging, handling and storing all that video can be  
              staggering. ?

              Most of the agencies that we worked with say the  
              biggest issue is the backend data storage," she said.  
              "It can cost hundreds of thousands of dollars to store  
              video each year."

                                      -- END --