Mandatory use of body cameras pushed

Photo Courtesy: Dianne Bacelonia

A bill has been filed in the Senate Wednesday mandating every law enforcer to use wearable cameras during special police operations and other similar activities.

Senate Bill 2199 or the Body-worn Camera Act was filed by Senator Raffy Tulfo to ensure transparency and strengthen evidence quality during law enforcement operations, including warrants of arrest, implementation of search warrants, enforcement of visitorial powers of the Chief Philippine National Police and unit commanders, anti-illegal drugs operation, among others.

According to the bill, the law will provide for an effective law enforcement operation beginning from the investigation, apprehension, detention and to prosecution — “by utilizing sound and modern procedure in crime investigation.”

Body-worn camera refers to an electronic camera system designated to law enforcement units for creating, generating, sending, receiving, storing, displaying, and processing audio-visual recordings that may be worn during operations.

Under SB 2199, body-worn cameras shall meet the following minimum standard requirement of 720p or higher video resolution; built-in frame rate, audio, date and time-stamping, and GPS; eight hours continuous battery life; capability to store eight hours continuous audio-video footage; and with a night mode built-in.

Tulfo believes that legislating the proposal to require law enforcement officers to wear and activate body-worn cameras will help the investigating body to go-in depth probes that will be based on the captured and recorded evidence by the cameras during the entire operation.

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