Peace Officer Accountability Issues & Legislation

Progressive Local Legislation

SB176: Body Camera Requirements for Nevada Peace Officers

Current Nevada law authorizes, rather than requires, certain peace officers to wear a portable recording device. Senate Bill 176 would REQUIRE the use of portable recording devices, aka body cameras, for certain peace officers.

Click here to see updates about hearings and more on SB176.

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Already, the Nevada Highway Patrol is equipping its officers with body cameras, according to the Las Vegas Review-Journal. Evidence shows the relationship between a police force and its community improves when officers wear body cameras. There is a demonstrable correlation between officers wearing body cameras and a decline in community complaints, according to the San Diego Tribune:

While body cameras have their limitations – they can be damaged or inadvertently turned off, and have a narrow view frame – requiring police officers in Nevada to wear body cameras when on duty and interacting with the public is a big step in the right direction.

Introduced Monday, February 13, 2017: Existing law: (1) authorizes certain peace officers to wear a portable event recording device while on duty; and (2) requires certain law enforcement agencies to adopt policies and procedures governing the use of portable event recording devices. (NRS 289.830) Existing law also requires: (1) certain peace officers employed by the Nevada Highway Patrol to wear a portable event recording device while on duty; and (2) the Nevada Highway Patrol to adopt policies and procedures governing the use of portable event recording devices. (NRS 480.365) Section 1 of this bill requires rather than authorizes certain peace officers to wear a portable event recording device while on duty. Section 1 also requires certain law enforcement agencies to adopt policies and procedures governing the use of portable event recording devices. Section 5 of this bill repeals NRS 480.365, the provision pertaining to the use of portable event recording devices by peace officers employed by the Nevada Highway Patrol, as that section is no longer necessary because the Nevada Highway Patrol is included within the definition of “law enforcement agency” for the purposes of section 1. Existing law: (1) authorizes the board of county commissioners of all counties whose population is less than 700,000 (currently all counties other than Clark County) to impose a surcharge to be used for the enhancement of the telephone system for reporting an emergency in the county; and (2) sets forth the requirements relating to the imposition of such a surcharge. (NRS 244A.7641-244A.7647) Sections 2-4 of this bill: (1) provide that the surcharge may be imposed in all counties in this State; (2) increase the maximum amount of the surcharge that may be imposed; and (3) authorize the surcharge to also be used for the purpose of purchasing and maintaining portable event recording devices and vehicular event recording devices.

Primary Sponsor(s):
Senator Aaron Ford, Senator Kelvin Atkinson, Senator Pat Spearman, Assemblyman Jason Frierson, Assemblywoman Dina Neal, Assemblyman Tyrone Thompson

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Reza Farazmand illustrates ‘Poorly Drawn Lines’ – a thrice-weekly webcomic. See more at poorlydrawnlines.com.