TALLAHASSEE — A Senate committee Wednesday unanimously approved a bill inspired by Corey Jones that would require law-enforcement agencies to set policies if they use body cameras.
The bill (SB 418), sponsored by Sen. Chris Smith, D-Fort Lauderdale, was approved by the Fiscal Policy Committee and now is ready to go to the full Senate.
The bill would not require law-enforcement agencies to use body cameras but would require standards for those that decide to do so. The legislation has the support of the Florida Sheriffs Association, the Florida Police Chiefs Association and the Florida Police Benevolent Association.
A House version (HB 93), sponsored by Rep. Shevrin Jones, D-West Park, and Rep. Alan Williams, D-Tallahassee, also is ready to go to the full House.
Smith said the use of body cameras helps prevent finger-pointing in police incidents.
“It gives us an opportunity to see what cops encounter a lot of times,” Smith said. “When cops come up on people and they are belligerent and they are escalating, it can show that ‘Hey, this officer was just reacting to something that they came upon.’ But, it shows sometimes when officers are having a bad day and do bad things.”