2019 - 2020 LEGISLATURE
February 11, 2020 - Introduced by Representative Spiros. Referred to Committee
on State Affairs.
1An Act to create
165.87 of the statutes; relating to: body cameras on law
Analysis by the Legislative Reference Bureau
This bill creates requirements for law enforcement agencies that use body
cameras on law enforcement officers. Under the bill, if a law enforcement agency
uses a body camera, the agency must have a written policy on the use, maintenance,
and storage of the cameras and the data recorded by the cameras. The bill also
requires that the law enforcement agencies retain data from the recordings for at
least 120 days and specifies the circumstances in which that data must be retained
longer. For instance, under the bill, if data depict an encounter that resulted in a
death, injury, or custodial arrest; a search during temporary questioning; or an
encounter that involved an officer using force, the agency must retain the data until
the final disposition of the investigation, case, or complaint to which the data pertain.
Under the bill, the data from body cameras are subject to inspection and copying
under the open records laws with exceptions to protect privacy and the identity of
victims and minors.
For further information see the state and local fiscal estimate, which will be
printed as an appendix to this bill.
The people of the state of Wisconsin, represented in senate and assembly, do
enact as follows:
165.87 of the statutes is created to read:
2165.87 Body cameras and law enforcement. (1)
If a law enforcement 3
agency uses a body camera on a law enforcement officer, the law enforcement agency 4
shall do all of the following:
(a) Administer a written policy regarding all of the following:
1. The use, maintenance, and storage of body cameras and data recorded by the 7
2. Any limitations the law enforcement agency imposes on which law 9
enforcement officers may wear a body camera.
3. Any limitations the law enforcement agency imposes on situations, persons, 11
or encounters that may be recorded by a body camera.
(b) Train all law enforcement officers wearing a body camera on the policy 13
under par. (a) and on the requirements under sub. (2).
(c) Train all employees that use, maintain, store, or release data from a body 15
camera on the policy under par. (a) and on the requirements under subs. (2) and (3).
(d) Periodically review practices regarding the body cameras and data from 17
body cameras to ensure compliance with the policy under par. (a) and the 18
requirements under subs. (2) and (3).
(e) If the law enforcement agency maintains an Internet site or has an Internet 20
site maintained on its behalf, make the policy under par. (a) available to the public 21
at the Internet site.
(a) Except as provided in pars. (b), (c), and (d), all data from a body camera 23
used on a law enforcement officer shall be retained for a minimum of 120 days after 24
the date of recording.
(b) Data from a body camera used on a law enforcement officer that depict any 2
of the following shall be retained until final disposition of any investigation, case, or 3
complaint to which the data pertain, except as provided in pars. (c) and (d):
1. An encounter that resulted in the death of any individual or actual or alleged 5
physical injury to an individual.
2. An encounter that resulted in a custodial arrest.
3. A search during an authorized temporary questioning as provided in s. 8
4. An encounter that involved the use of force by a law enforcement officer, 10
except if the only use of force was the use of a firearm to dispatch an injured wild 11
(c) Retention beyond the period determined under par. (a) or (b) may be directed 13
by a law enforcement officer or law enforcement agency, a board of police and fire 14
commissioners, a prosecutor, a defendant, or a court that determines that the data 15
have evidentiary value in a prosecution. A person making a preservation directive 16
under this paragraph shall submit the directive to the law enforcement agency 17
having custody of the record within 120 days after the date of recording.
(d) Data from a body camera used on a law enforcement officer that are used 19
in a criminal, civil, or administrative proceeding may not be destroyed except upon 20
final disposition, including appeals, a determination from the court or hearing 21
examiner that the data are no longer needed, or an order from the court or hearing 22
(e) Notwithstanding pars. (a) to (d), data from a body camera used on a law 24
enforcement officer may not be destroyed during the period specified in s. 19.35 (5).
(a) In this subsection:
1. “Authority” has the meaning given in s. 19.32 (1).
2. “Record subject” means an individual recorded by a body camera used on a 3
law enforcement officer to whom all of the following apply:
a. The individual is depicted in the recording, or the individual's voice is audible 5
in the recording.
b. The individual's identity is known to the law enforcement agency.
c. The individual is not suspected of committing a crime or other violation of 8
law in connection with the law enforcement officer's presence in the location that was 9
d. The individual is not a law enforcement officer who was acting in an official 11
capacity, unless a crime or other violation of law has been committed or is alleged to 12
have been committed against the law enforcement officer while the law enforcement 13
officer was present at the location that was recorded.
3. “Requester” has the meaning given in s. 19.32 (3).
(b) Data from a body camera used on a law enforcement officer are subject to 16
the right of inspection and copying under s. 19.35 (1), except as provided in par. (c).
(c) 1. It shall be the public policy of this state to maintain the privacy of a record 18
subject who is a victim of a sensitive or violent crime or who is a minor and that access 19
to data from a body camera used on a law enforcement officer that depict such a 20
record subject shall be provided only if the public interest in allowing access is so 21
great as to outweigh that public policy. In that case, the record subject's face and 22
anything else that would allow the record subject to be identified may be redacted 23
using pixelization or another method of redaction. The presumption under this 24
subdivision regarding the privacy of a record subject who is a victim of a sensitive or 25
violent crime does not apply if the record subject, or his or her next of kin if the record
subject is deceased, does not object to granting access to the data. The presumption 2
under this subdivision regarding the privacy of a record subject who is a minor does 3
not apply if the parent or legal guardian of the record subject does not object to 4
granting access to the data.
2. It shall be the public policy of this state to maintain the privacy of a record 6
subject who is in a location where the record subject has a reasonable expectation of 7
privacy and that access to data from a body camera used on a law enforcement officer 8
that depict a record subject in such a location shall be provided only if the public 9
interest in allowing access is so great as to outweigh that public policy. In that case, 10
the record subject's face and anything else that would allow the record subject to be 11
identified may be redacted using pixelization or another method of redaction. The 12
presumption under this subdivision does not apply if the record subject does not 13
object to granting access to the data.
3. If a requester believes that an authority has improperly made a decision to 15
redact or deny access to data under subd. 1. or 2., the requester may pursue the 16
remedies under s. 19.37 (1).
(d) For purposes of requests under s. 19.35 (1) for access to data from a body 18
camera used by a law enforcement agency, the law enforcement agency is the legal 19
custodian of the record, and if any other authority has custody of any such data, that 20
authority is not the legal custodian of that data. If any other authority receives a 21
request under s. 19.35 (1) for that data, that authority shall deny any portion of the 22
request that relates to that data.
(e) Nothing in this subsection prohibits the release of data from a body camera 24
under s. 175.47 (5) (b).