Please contact your Senators on the Senate Judicial Proceedings
Committee and urge them to support HB 947. This is MACo’s initiative
bill to balance out how the Public Information Act affects footage from
body cameras. The bill protects the privacy of officers, victims, and
children, while also protecting your department’s bottom line.
The bill passed the House overwhelmingly, but has been stuck in the
Senate Committee all session. Today’s the last day for them to act.
PLEASE CALL OR EMAIL TODAY.
This bill provides needed guidance on the release of body camera
video under the Maryland Public Information Act. The bill maintains
police accountability and transparency, protects the rights of
vulnerable victims, and keeps “fishing expeditions” from impeding this
useful public safety tool.
HB 947 keeps people affected by a police incident able to get
relevant footage. And important incidents would remain open to the press
and anyone. But it prevents the wide-cast footage requests that have
crippled programs elsewhere.
The sponsor, Delegate Sydnor, brought together many stakeholders who
are comfortable with the bill – law enforcement, victim’s rights groups,
the press have all helped to shape these amendments.
HB 947 is a good bill, reflecting tremendous amounts of stakeholder input and compromise.
2016 Senate Judicial Proceedings Committee
MACo’s Testimony for HB 947
MACo Contact: Les Knapp, Legal & Policy Counsel, MACo