Rep. Kramer: Assembly approves law enforcement body camera standards legislation

CONTACT:Rep. Jesse Kremer
(608) 266-9175

Madison, WI – Today the Wisconsin State Assembly passed the Law Enforcement Body Camera Standards bill authored by Representative Kremer (R-Kewaskum) and his colleague Senator Patrick Testin (R-Stevens Point). This legislation addresses policing technology as it relates to privacy and the 4th amendment by establishing minimal statewide body camera policy standards which carefully strikes a balance between privacy rights with public safety.

Following the passage of AB351 on the Assembly floor, Rep. Kremer stated, “This is a piece of legislation that has been in the works with law enforcement stakeholders for nearly a year and a half.  While there are countless scenarios related to body camera footage as it relates to public privacy, we feel that this bill strikes a careful balance to ensure that public transparency, as it relates to policing practices, ismaintained while safeguarding personal privacy protections.”

Under current law, and subject to a balancing test by the data custodian, most body camera footage may be released to the media or public.  Following discussions with local law enforcement officials, it was noted that nearly 95% of all video footage will be released if an open records request is received. While transparency is of utmost importance, there are situations and locations where the expectation of privacy must be protected.  For instance, video footage of a child trafficking situation, a late night domestic situation within an apartment unit or a simple interview with a police officer in one’s home regarding a neighbor noise complaint.

There is a consensus among Wisconsin’s Law Enforcement community that minimal statewide guidance should be mandated and that victims need to be protected, Rep. Kremer further explained. “As technology continues to evolve, we as legislators must stay vigilant, and AB351 serves a sound foundation to give law enforcement the tools they needs while ensuring our constitutional privacy rights are protected.”

Rep. Kremer represents the 59th Assembly District which includes Southern Calumet, Western Sheboygan, Northern Washington and Eastern Fond du Lac Counties. Rep. Kremer’s office will continue to be located at 17 West in the Wisconsin State Capitol, and he can be reached at (608) 266-9175 or by e-mail at Rep.Kremer@legis.wisconsin.gov. His legislative website can be found at www.RepKremer.com

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