Kinsey: state police body-worn camera use indicates need to pass my legislation setting policies for usage

HARRISBURG, May 1 – State Rep. Stephen Kinsey, D-Phila., applauded the Pennsylvania State Police’s announcement that all troopers assigned to Troop K, which covers the southeastern counties of Philadelphia, Montgomery and Delaware, are now outfitted for body-worn cameras and their patrol vehicles have been equipped with mobile video recorders.

“The key to positive police-community relations is transparency, which body cameras greatly help provide. Folks will get a real-time look at the policies and procedures officers must follow when making an arrest and would also see the full footage of specific police encounters, removing uncertainty of what happened and who is in the wrong,” Kinsey said.

Kinsey has introduced a bill in the Pennsylvania House of Representatives to direct law enforcement agencies using body-worn cameras to develop official policies governing when cameras are activated and disabled, accessing the recordings, retention of recordings and redaction of recordings.

“As we begin to see the state police’s body-worn camera initiative take place across the commonwealth, it’s time for the legislature to move my legislation so that police departments using these cameras can set defined guidelines and policies for how they’re used.”

Kinsey’s bill has been referred to the Judiciary Committee and currently awaits a committee vote.

According to officials, state troopers covering 19 of the state’s 67 counties have successfully implemented body-worn cameras as of now.

State police officials said that they expect to have fully implemented body-worn cameras and updated mobile video recorders for all troopers by the end of the first quarter of 2025.