Body cameras for police in South Carolina will soon be mandatory.
The state has already voted it into action, but who exactly needs to wear them and when they need to record was still up in the air…that is, until this past Friday.
All uniformed law enforcement officers whose primary duty is to answer calls for service and interact with the public must wear body cameras. Those are the state guidelines approved by the South Carolina Law Enforcement Training Council.
That means from the moment a call is initiated until its over—the cams must roll.
For some agencies already using the cameras like Bluffton Police, who’ve been using them for more than a year and a half, they say they’ve been working like a charm.
“It holds our officers accountable at the same time it provies a means of transparency of all officer interactions that our officers have with members of our community,” said Lt. Joe Babkiewicz.
Babkiewicz says the cams help them boost transparency
“We’re not out to hide anything, we’re out to be as transparent as possible and that helps continue to build trust with the community.”
Some of the other guidelines include, not recording police conversations among themselves unless given permission by the chief, being sensitive to rape victims, and anyone that is the subject of a recording may request a copy of the footage.