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Senate Approves Body Camera’s For Police Officers


Local law enforcement agencies could apply for grants to equip their officers with body cameras and could also come up with guidelines for the equipment under legislation that the Senate approved Thursday.

Lawmakers passed Senate Bill 158 by Sen. Royce West, D-Dallas, which would create a statewide policy for body camera programs used by law enforcement agencies.

“This is a bill that provides local law enforcement agencies with a choice,” West said while laying out the bill. “A local office does not have to have a body camera program, but if they have a body camera program, there are some policies that need to have some uniformity across the state of Texas.”

The measure now heads to the House, where two bills related to body cameras are also up for consideration

Body cameras are recording devices that can be affixed to law enforcement officers and used to document their actions. Their use has come into focus on the heels of a national debate about police accountability and safety.

In Texas, Fort Worth, Sugar Land and Corpus Christi are among the cities that already have body camera programs, while several other cities, including Dallas, Houston and San Antonio, are still testing such programs.

Source: WFAA

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