This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2016, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.
While acknowledging work remains to be done on the bill, a Utah Senate committee approved legislation Monday that would direct the entity that trains the state's police officers to set standards for the use of body cameras.
SB94, sponsored by Sen. Daniel Thatcher, R-West Valley City, directs the Peace Officer Standards and Training board to formulate policy governing the use of cameras, including what footage from the cameras would be available to the public.
The bill is supported by the Utah Sheriff's Association, the Utah Chiefs of Police Association, the Utah League of Cities and Towns and the Utah Association of Counties, which support letting POST set the standards.
Marina Lowe from the American Civil Liberties Union argued the Legislature is more responsive to the public than POST and should set the minimum standards for body cameras. Another bill, HB300 sponsored by Rep. Dan McCay, R-Riverton, would take that approach.
Thatcher also acknowledged that he is still negotiating the open-records language with lawyers for news outlets and the ACLU, but his aim is to keep private footage taken inside people's homes or that might be "humiliating or embarrassing to that citizen."
The Senate Judiciary and Law Enforcement Committee approved Thatcher's bill on a 5-1 vote with a commitment from Thatcher to work on the open-records language. McCay's bill has passed committee, as well, and is awaiting a House vote.