Connecticut Seal

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House of Representatives

File No. 819

General Assembly

 

January Session, 2017

(Reprint of File No. 666)

Substitute House Bill No. 7308

 

As Amended by House Amendment

Schedule "A"

Approved by the Legislative Commissioner

May 31, 2017

AN ACT CONCERNING CAMERA AND RECORDING DEVICES AND EQUIPMENT USED BY POLICE.

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives in General Assembly convened:

Section 1. (Effective from passage) (a) There is established a task force to examine the use of body-worn recording equipment by state and municipal police in accordance with section 29-6d of the general statutes, as amended by this act. Such task force shall examine (1) whether such statute should be expanded or otherwise amended, including, but not limited to, a consideration of whether such statute or any other statute should address the use of electronic defense weapon recording equipment, as defined in section 7-277b of the general statutes, as amended by this act, (2) training associated with the use of such equipment, and (3) data storage and freedom of information issues associated with the data created by the use of such equipment.

(b) The task force shall consist of (1) the following members or their designees: (A) The chairpersons and ranking members of the joint standing committees of the General Assembly having cognizance of matters relating to the judiciary and public safety, (B) the Chief State's Attorney, (C) the Chief Public Defender, and (D) the chairperson of the Freedom of Information Commission; (2) (A) an active or retired judge appointed by the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, (B) a municipal police chief appointed by the president of the Connecticut Police Chiefs Association, (C) a representative of the Police Officer Standards and Training Council, (D) a representative of the State Police Training School appointed by the Commissioner of Emergency Services and Public Protection, and (E) a representative of the criminal defense bar appointed by the president of the Connecticut Criminal Defense Lawyers Association; (3) six public members, appointed one each by the president pro tempore of the Senate, the speaker of the House of Representatives, the Senate Republican president pro tempore, the majority leader of the Senate, the majority leader of the House of Representatives and the minority leader of the House of Representatives; and (4) four sworn police officers, (A) one of whom is a member of the Connecticut State Police Union, appointed by the president pro tempore of the Senate, (B) one of whom is a member of a municipal police department that serves a municipality with seventy-five thousand residents or more, appointed by the speaker of the House of Representatives, (C) one of whom who is female, appointed by the Senate Republican president pro tempore, and (D) one of whom is a member of a municipal police department that serves a municipality with less than seventy-five thousand residents, appointed by the minority leader of the House of Representatives.

(c) Not later than February 1, 2018, the task force established pursuant to subsection (a) of this section, shall report its findings and any recommendations for legislation to the joint standing committees of the General Assembly having cognizance of matters relating to the judiciary and public safety, in accordance with section 11-4a of the general statutes. The task force shall terminate on the date that it submits such report or February 1, 2018, whichever is later.

Sec. 2. Section 7-277b of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof (Effective from passage):

(a) The Office of Policy and Management shall, within available resources, administer a grant program to provide grants-in-aid to reimburse (1) each municipality for the costs associated with the purchase by such municipality of body-worn recording equipment, electronic defense weapon recording equipment for use by the sworn members of such municipality's police department or for use by constables, police officers or other persons who perform criminal law enforcement duties under the supervision of a resident state trooper serving such municipality, and digital data storage devices or services, provided such equipment and device or service conforms to the minimal technical specifications approved pursuant to subsection (b) of section 29-6d, if applicable, and (2) any municipality making a first-time purchase of one or more dashboard cameras with a remote recorder. Any such municipality may apply for such grants-in-aid to the Secretary of the Office of Policy and Management in such manner as prescribed by said secretary. Such grants-in-aid shall be distributed as provided in subsection (b) of this section.

(b) (1) (A) Any municipality that purchased such body-worn recording equipment or electronic defense weapon recording equipment or made a first-time purchase of one or more dashboard cameras with a remote recorder during the fiscal years ending June 30, 2017, and June 30, 2018, and digital data storage devices or services during the fiscal year ending June 30, 2017, shall, within available resources, be reimbursed for up to one hundred per cent of the costs associated with such purchases, provided the costs of such digital data storage services shall not be reimbursed for a period of service that is longer than one year, and provided further that in the case of reimbursement for costs associated with the purchase of body-worn recording equipment, such body-worn recording equipment is purchased in sufficient quantity, as determined by the chief of police in the case of a municipality with an organized police department or, where there is no chief of police, the warden of the borough or the first selectman of the municipality, as the case may be, to ensure that [each sworn member] sworn members of such municipality's police department [is] or constables, police officers or other persons who perform criminal law enforcement duties under the supervision of a resident state trooper serving such municipality are supplied with such equipment while interacting with the public in such sworn [member's] members', such constables', such police officers' or such persons' law enforcement capacity.

(B) Any municipality that purchased such body-worn recording equipment or digital data storage devices or services on or after January 1, 2012, but prior to July 1, 2016, shall be reimbursed for costs associated with such purchases, but not in an amount to exceed the amount of grant-in-aid such municipality would have received under subparagraph (A) of this subdivision if such purchases had been made in accordance with said subparagraph (A).

(C) Any municipality that was reimbursed under subparagraph (B) of this subdivision for body-worn recording equipment and that purchased additional body-worn recording equipment during the fiscal [year] years ending June 30, 2017, and June 30, 2018, shall, within available resources, be reimbursed for up to one hundred per cent of the costs associated with such purchases, provided such equipment is purchased in sufficient quantity, as determined by the chief of police in the case of a municipality with an organized police department or, where there is no chief of police, the warden of the borough or the first selectman of the municipality, as the case may be, to ensure that [each sworn member] sworn members of such municipality's police department [is] or constables or other persons who perform criminal law enforcement duties under the supervision of a resident state trooper serving such municipality are supplied with such equipment while interacting with the public in such sworn [member's] members', such constables', such police officers' or such persons' law enforcement capacity.

(2) Any municipality that was not reimbursed under subdivision (1) of this subsection and that purchased such body-worn recording equipment [and] or electronic defense weapon recording equipment, digital data storage devices or services or for a first-time purchase of one or more dashboard cameras with a remote recorder during the fiscal year ending June 30, [2018] 2019, shall, within available resources, be reimbursed for up to fifty per cent of the costs associated with such purchases, provided the costs of such digital data storage services shall not be reimbursed for a period of service that is longer than one year.

(c) For the purposes of this section, "electronic defense weapon recording equipment" means an electronic defense weapon that is equipped with electronic audio and visual recording equipment, "electronic defense weapon" has the same meaning as provided in section 53a-3, "dashboard camera with a remote recorder" means a camera that affixes to a dashboard or windshield of a police vehicle that electronically records video of the view through the vehicle's windshield and has an electronic audio recorder that may be operated remotely.

Sec. 3. Subsection (c) of section 29-6d of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof (Effective October 1, 2017):

(c) (1) On and after July 1, 2016, each sworn member of (A) the Division of State Police within the Department of Emergency Services and Public Protection, (B) the special police forces established pursuant to section 10a-156b, (C) any municipal police department for a municipality that is a recipient of grant-in-aid as reimbursement for body-worn recording equipment pursuant to subparagraph (A) or (C) of subdivision (1) of subsection (b) of section 7-277b, as amended by this act, or subdivision (2) of said subsection (b), and (D) any municipal police department for any other municipality that is a recipient of grant-in-aid as reimbursement for body-worn recording equipment pursuant to subparagraph (B) of subdivision (1) of said subsection (b) if such sworn member is supplied with such body-worn recording equipment, shall use body-worn recording equipment while interacting with the public in such sworn member's law enforcement capacity, except as provided in [subsections (g) and (j)] subsection (g) of this section, or in the case of a municipal police department, in accordance with the department's policy, if adopted by the department and based on guidelines maintained pursuant to subsection (j) of this section, concerning the use of body-worn recording equipment.

(2) Any sworn member of a municipal police department, other than those described in subdivision (1) of this subsection, may use body-worn recording equipment as directed by such department, provided the use of such equipment and treatment of data created by such equipment shall be in accordance with the provisions of subdivisions (3) and (4) of this subsection, and subsections (d) to (j), inclusive, of this section.

(3) Each police officer shall wear body-worn recording equipment on such officer's outer-most garment and shall position such equipment above the midline of such officer's torso when using such equipment.

(4) Body-worn recording equipment used pursuant to this section shall conform to the minimal technical specifications approved pursuant to subsection (b) of this section, except that a police officer may use body-worn recording equipment that does not conform to the minimal technical specifications approved pursuant to subsection (b) of this section, if such equipment was purchased prior to January 1, 2016, by the law enforcement agency employing such officer.

Sec. 4. Subsection (j) of section 29-6d of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof (Effective October 1, 2017):

(j) [Not later than January 1, 2016, the] The Commissioner of Emergency Services and Public Protection and the Police Officer Standards and Training Council shall jointly [issue] maintain guidelines pertaining to the use of body-worn recording equipment, retention of data created by such equipment and methods for safe and secure storage of such data. Each law enforcement agency and any police officer and any other employee of such agency who may have access to such data shall adhere to such guidelines. The commissioner and council may update and reissue such guidelines, as the commissioner and council determine necessary. The commissioner and council shall, upon issuance of such guidelines or any update to such guidelines, submit such guidelines in accordance with the provisions of section 11-4a to the joint standing committees of the General Assembly having cognizance of matters relating to the judiciary and public safety.

This act shall take effect as follows and shall amend the following sections:

Section 1

from passage

New section

Sec. 2

from passage

7-277b

Sec. 3

October 1, 2017

29-6d(c)

Sec. 4

October 1, 2017

29-6d(j)

The following Fiscal Impact Statement and Bill Analysis are prepared for the benefit of the members of the General Assembly, solely for purposes of information, summarization and explanation and do not represent the intent of the General Assembly or either chamber thereof for any purpose. In general, fiscal impacts are based upon a variety of informational sources, including the analyst's professional knowledge. Whenever applicable, agency data is consulted as part of the analysis, however final products do not necessarily reflect an assessment from any specific department.


OFA Fiscal Note

State Impact:

Agency Affected

Fund-Effect

FY 18 $

FY 19 $

Treasurer, Debt Serv.

GF - Potential Cost

See Below

See Below

Various State Agencies

GF - Potential Cost

Less than $1,000

 

Note: GF=General Fund

Municipal Impact:

Municipalities

Effect

Various Municipalities

See Below

Explanation

The bill establishes a task force regarding the use of body-worn recording equipment and expands the list of items for which municipalities may be reimbursed under an existing bond authorization. There are potential costs to the state. Additionally, the possibility of municipal reimbursement is expanded.

Body Camera Task Force

The bill establishes a task force to examine the use of body-worn recording equipment by state and municipal police. The task force shall report on its findings and recommendations to the Judiciary and Public Safety committees by February 1, 2018.

There may be a cost of less than $1,000 in FY 18 to those agencies participating in the task force to reimburse legislators and agency staff for mileage expenses, currently at 53.5 cents/mile.

Body Camera Bond Funds

The body-worn camera purchase program is funded through General Obligation (GO) bond funds. The program has been authorized for $12 million in net bond funds since its inception in 2015.1 As of May 30th, the unallocated bond balance available to the program is approximately $9.1 million. The bill does not change GO bond authorizations relevant to the program.

Future General Fund debt service costs may be incurred sooner under the bill to the degree that the amendment causes authorized GO bond funds to be expended more rapidly than they otherwise would have been.

There is potential for municipalities who purchase or have purchased items from the expanded allowable item list, as described in the bill, to seek increased or additional reimbursements.

House “A” strikes the underlying bill and its associated fiscal impact and results in the fiscal impact described above.

OLR Bill Analysis

HB 7308 (as amended by House "A")*

AN ACT CONCERNING A TASK FORCE TO EXAMINE ISSUES CONCERNING THE USE OF BODY-WORN CAMERA AND RECORDING EQUIPMENT BY POLICE.

SUMMARY

This bill expands a grant program administered by the Office of Policy and Management (OPM) secretary that reimburses municipalities for, among other things, purchasing body cameras for use by sworn members of municipal police departments. Generally, it (1) expands the types of equipment and law enforcement personnel eligible for the program to include electronic defense weapon recording equipment and first time purchases of dashboard cameras and (2) extends the program by one year, to FY 19. Under the bill, however, the reimbursement is provided within available resources.

The bill also establishes a 26-member task force to examine the use of body cameras by state and municipal police. It must report its findings and recommendations to the Judiciary and Public Safety committees by February 1, 2018.

With respect to municipal police departments that use body cameras, current law requires their use when interacting with the public in a law enforcement capacity, with certain specified exceptions (e.g., encounters with undercover officers or informants). The bill additionally requires that they be used in accordance with the department's policy for using body cameras, if it is adopted in accordance with guidelines issued by the Department of Emergency Services and Public Protection (DESPP) commissioner and Police Officer Standards and Training Council (POST).

Lastly, the bill makes minor, technical, and conforming changes.

*House Amendment “A” (1) adds the provisions on the grant program and municipal policy and a technical change and (2) increases the size of the task force's membership from the underlying bill.

EFFECTIVE DATE: Upon passage, except that the municipal police department policy and a technical change are effective October 1, 2017.

GRANT PROGRAM

Existing law requires the OPM secretary to administer a grant program to reimburse municipalities for, among other things, purchasing body cameras for use by sworn members of municipal police departments. The bill expands the program to cover (1) purchases of electronic defense weapon recording equipment and (2) use by constables, police officers, or other persons who perform criminal law enforcement duties under the supervision of a resident state trooper serving the municipality. It also expands the program to cover any municipality making a first-time purchase of one or more dashboard cameras with a remote recorder. However, it also stipulates that the reimbursement must be provided within available resources.

Under the bill, “electronic defense weapon recording equipment” means an electronic defense weapon that is equipped with electronic audio and visual recording equipment. A “dashboard camera with a remote recorder” is a camera that affixes to a dashboard or windshield of a police vehicle that electronically records video of the view through the vehicle's windshield and has an electronic audio recorder that may be operated remotely.

Reimbursement Methodology

The bill extends the grant program's deadline and modifies the equipment for which municipalities may receive reimbursement.

Current law requires that grants reimburse municipalities that purchase the following:

The bill instead requires that grants, within available resources, reimburse municipalities that purchase the following:

“Sufficient Quantity” of Body Cameras for Reimbursement Purposes

Under current law, municipalities may receive reimbursement for body cameras if they are purchased in a sufficient quantity to ensure that each sworn member of the municipality's police department is supplied with such equipment while interacting with the public in his or her law enforcement capacity. The bill instead allows municipalities to receive reimbursement for equipment that was purchased in sufficient quantity to ensure that sworn police department members, constables, police officers, or other individuals who perform criminal law enforcement duties under the supervision of a resident state trooper serving the municipality are supplied with the equipment for such purposes.

Under the bill, the number of cameras that are sufficient for these purposes must be determined by (1) the police chief if the municipality has an organized police department or (2) the borough warden or municipal first selectman, as the case may be, if there is no police chief.

TASK FORCE

The bill establishes a 26-member task force to examine the use of body cameras by state and municipal police. It must examine (1) whether the state statute on body cameras should be expanded or otherwise amended, including whether the statute or a different statute should address the use of electronic defense weapon recording equipment; (2) training associated with using such equipment; and (3) data storage and freedom of information issues associated with the data created by the use of such equipment.

The task force must report its findings and recommendations to the Judiciary and Public Safety committees by February 1, 2018. It terminates on the date it submits the report or February 1, 2018, whichever is later. Table 1 lists the task force's membership.

Table 1: Task Force Membership

Member

Appointing Authority

Chairpersons and ranking members of the Judiciary and Public Safety committees, or their designees (eight members total)

N/A

Chief state's attorney, or his designee

N/A

Chief public defender, or her designee

N/A

Chairperson of the Freedom of Information Commission, or his designee

N/A

One active or retired judge

Chief Justice of the Supreme Court

One municipal police chief

President of the Connecticut Police Chiefs Association

One representative of POST

Not specified

One representative of the State Police Training School

DESPP commissioner

One representative of the criminal defense bar

Connecticut Criminal Defense Lawyers Association

Six public members

One each by the top six legislative leaders

A sworn police officer who is a member of the Connecticut State Police Union

Senate president pro tempore

A sworn police officer who is a member of a municipal police department that serves a municipality with 75,000 residents or more

House speaker

A female sworn police officer

Senate Republican president pro tempore

A sworn police officer who is a member of a municipal police department that serves a municipality with fewer than 75,000 residents

House minority leader

COMMITTEE ACTION

Judiciary Committee

Joint Favorable Substitute

Yea

31

Nay

8

(03/31/2017)

TOP

1 $3 million of the original $15 million authorization was cancelled by PA 16-4 MSS.