TALLAHASSEE – In an effort to craft a bill intended to better protect police officers, the public, and Floridians’ privacy, Senator Chris Smith (D-Ft. Lauderdale) announced Monday that he was delaying Tuesday’s Senate hearing of his body camera legislation (SB248).
“My primary objective has been and continues to be protecting officers and protecting the public,” said Senator Smith. “To strike that critical balance, I’ve invited an assortment of interested groups to help fine tune the language and produce legislation that works for everyone.”
In drafting the bill, the Ft. Lauderdale Democrat said he had two guiding principles: first, to ensure that police have their cameras operating at all times while on calls; and second, that the privacy of individuals is protected when they’re in locations where privacy is expected. Recordings in such areas could only be released with the consent of the individual involved.
Since its filing, several groups such as the American Civil Liberties Union, the Florida Sheriffs’ Association, and the League of Cities, have expressed an interest in assisting in the final version of the legislation. Originally scheduled for a hearing tomorrow before the Senate Governmental Oversight and Accountability, SB 248 will now be postponed pending the conclusion of those discussions.