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Baltimore County Police: Body-worn camera video release policy approved

Baltimore County Police investigate Saturday morning shooting
Posted at 4:28 PM, Feb 07, 2020
and last updated 2020-02-07 16:28:15-05

TOWSON, Md. — Baltimore County Police have issued their first policy governing the public release of footage from body-worn cameras.

Officials say the policy aims to "clarify the circumstances under which footage will be released and the procedures for release, reinforces the department’s commitment to the improvement of policing strategies and accountability".

Under the policy, the Chief of Police can make a decision to release footage from critical incidents and positive interactions with officers and the community within 30 days of each incident. This applies even when there has not been a request for footage.

The Chief will also consult with the State’s Attorney prior to releasing critical incident footage.

“This policy is an important step in continuing to build and maintain trust between law enforcement and the community," said Chief Melissa Hyatt. "The policy will preserve the integrity of investigations while respecting the privacy of individuals.”

The policy also includes a process where the State’s Attorney can request an extension of the release in order to preserve a defendant’s right to a fair trial.

County Executive Johnny Olszewski issued a statement on the policy.

“I pledged to make Baltimore County more transparent and accountable for every resident, and we continue to deliver on that promise. Chief Hyatt shares my commitment to openness and accountability, and today’s announcement of the Baltimore County Police Department’s first body-worn camera footage release policy is yet another important step forward.”

The full policy can be read below!