Under a new policy, the Justice Department will let state and local officers on joint task forces use body-worn cameras in some cases. The policy follows a successful pilot program that ran in cities like Houston, Detroit, Wichita, and Salt Lake City over the last year. It is a response, in part, to the growing use of such cameras by state and local agencies around the country.
Under the new policy, task-force officers may use such cameras while making arrests and serving search warrants. They may not use them to record undercover agents, confidential sources, or cooperating witnesses. Nor may they use them in other sensitive situations like investigations involving public corruption, medical facilities, or national security. And there are procedures for downloading, storing, and disclosing the data.
It is a step in the right direction.