2017 - 2018 LEGISLATURE
October 19, 2017 - Introduced by Representatives C. Taylor, Crowley, Sargent,
Anderson, Berceau, Bowen, Considine and Sinicki, cosponsored by Senators
Larson and Johnson. Referred to Committee on Criminal Justice and Public
1An Act to repeal
15.257 (3) and 165.87 (6); and to create
15.257 (3) and 165.87 2
of the statutes; relating to: body cameras on law enforcement officers and
3providing criminal penalties.
Analysis by the Legislative Reference Bureau
This bill creates requirements for law enforcement agencies that use body
cameras on law enforcement officers, including requirements for agency policies,
which encounters must be recorded, restrictions on the use of recordings, and
retention practices as well as limitations on encounters that may not be recorded.
The bill creates limitations on access to data from body cameras. The bill makes it
a Class I felony to tamper with, delete, copy, or upload data obtained from a body
camera or to tamper with or destroy a body camera. This bill also creates the Law
Enforcement Body Camera Council in the Department of Justice to make
recommendations to the legislature and to establish best practices regarding body
cameras worn by law enforcement officers.
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:
15.257 (3) of the statutes is created to read:
15.257 (3) Law enforcement body camera council.
(a) There is created in the 2
department of justice a law enforcement body camera council consisting of the 3
1. Three citizens from underrepresented communities, including a citizen from 5
a 1st class city, selected by the governor from a list prepared by the Wisconsin 6
Conference of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, 7
Centro Hispano of Dane County, and Centro Hispano Milwaukee.
2. The attorney general or his or her designee.
3. A member of the crime victims council representing an organization 10
providing victim support services, appointed by the attorney general.
4. A sheriff, selected by the Badger State Sheriffs' Association and the 12
Wisconsin Sheriffs And Deputy Sheriffs Association, or his or her designee.
5. A chief of police, selected by the Wisconsin Chiefs of Police Association, or 14
his or her designee.
6. The executive director of the Wisconsin Professional Police Association, or 16
his or her designee.
7. A district attorney, selected by the Wisconsin District Attorneys Association, 18
or his or her designee.
8. A state public defender, selected by the public defender board, or his or her 20
9. The executive director of the Wisconsin Freedom of Information Council, or 22
his or her designee.
10. A member or staff member of the American Civil Liberties Union, as 24
selected by the American Civil Liberties Union of Wisconsin.
11. An attorney specializing in civil rights or an expert in constitutional law, 2
selected by the governor from a list prepared by the State Bar of Wisconsin.
(b) Members under par. (a) 1., 3., 4., 5., 7., 8., 9., 10., and 11. shall serve for 4
2-year terms, and, notwithstanding s. 15.09 (2), the member under par. (a) 2. shall 5
serve as the council chairperson.
15.257 (3) of the statutes, as created by 2017 Wisconsin Act .... (this 7
act), is repealed.
165.87 of the statutes is created to read:
9165.87 Body cameras on law enforcement. (1)
(a) If a law enforcement 10
agency uses a body camera on a law enforcement officer, the law enforcement agency 11
shall develop a written policy and conspicuously post it on an Internet site the agency 12
maintains. The agency may include policies and procedures that do not conflict with 13
the requirements under this paragraph and shall include all of the following in the 14
1. That no personnel except law enforcement officers who have the authority 16
to arrest and conduct searches may wear a body camera.
2. That the audio and video functions of the body camera shall be activated 18
when the law enforcement officer responds to a call or initiates an interaction for 19
enforcement or investigation purposes and may not be discontinued during the 20
response or interaction except as provided under sub. (2).
3. How the law enforcement agency shall classify, download, store, 22
administratively use, and ensure the security of data from a body camera.
4. Disciplinary measures for violating the policy.
5. Which employees may access data from body cameras.
(b) If a law enforcement agency uses body cameras on law enforcement officers, 2
the law enforcement agency shall train all law enforcement officers on the policy 3
under par. (a) and on this section.
(c) If a law enforcement agency uses body cameras on law enforcement officers, 5
the law enforcement agency shall confiscate the body camera if the camera has data 6
recording an incident involving a law enforcement officer that resulted in a death or 7
bodily harm to an individual, involving the use of force by a law enforcement officer, 8
or involving a law enforcement officer's discharge of a firearm. No law enforcement 9
officer involved in the incident may be allowed to review or be informed about the 10
contents of the data before the officer completes any required initial reports, 11
statements, or interviews regarding the incident.
(d) If a law enforcement agency enters into a contract regarding any aspect of 13
the use of body cameras, no party to the contract may use data from the body camera 14
in a manner inconsistent with this section or with any policies and procedures of the 15
law enforcement agency that are not inconsistent with this section.
(e) No law enforcement officer may use a body camera unless he or she is acting 17
on the authority of a law enforcement agency that has a policy under par. (a).
A law enforcement officer who is wearing a body camera shall notify an 19
individual that the individual is being recorded as soon as practically possible if the 20
law enforcement officer is going to interact with the individual for enforcement or 21
investigation purposes. If the interaction is because the individual is a crime victim, 22
the law enforcement officer shall obtain the individual's verbal consent before 23
recording him or her.
(a) 1. Except as permitted under this section, an individual who tampers 2
with, deletes, copies, or uploads data obtained from a body camera is guilty of a Class 3
2. Except as permitted under this section, an individual who intentionally 5
tampers with or destroys any body camera, or part of a body camera, used by a law 6
enforcement agency is guilty of a Class I felony.
3. An individual who intentionally violates sub. (1) (c) is guilty of a Class I 8
(b) No law enforcement officer or personnel may do any of the following:
1. Access data from a body camera for personal use.
2. Record a conversation in public or in a law enforcement agency without the 12
knowledge of the speakers during routine nonenforcement activities.
3. Record activity that is unrelated to a response to a call or to an interaction 14
initiated for enforcement or investigation purposes.
4. Record off-duty or personal activity.
5. Use a body camera for a purpose other than law enforcement.
6. Merge data from a body camera with other data collected by a law 18
enforcement agency or subject data from a body camera to automated analysis or 19
7. Record activity with the intent of inhibiting or curbing the exercise of a right 21
under the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution and article I, section 18, of the 22
(c) Unless a law enforcement officer is confronting a violent suspect or 24
anticipates the need to use force or unless a person is at risk of bodily harm or death, 25
a law enforcement officer may not record any of the following: