By Steve Neavling
Federal law enforcement agencies are “generally unprepared “ to adopt the widespread use of body cameras, according to a new report from the Justice Department’s Inspector General.
The report comes after the Justice Department said earlier this month that it would begin requiring federal agents to wear body cameras while executing raids and serving arrest warrants.
In the last decade, the Justice Department issued $150 million in grants for camera programs, but none of that money went to the ATF, FBI, DEA, or U.S. Marshals Service.
“Given the demonstrated benefits of BWC programs, their widespread use by law enforcement agencies across the country, the Components’ substantial involvement in street-level enforcement activity, the public’s increasing expectation that objective video evidence be available in law enforcement interactions with the public—especially those involving use of force—and recent legislation introduced by Congress that would require federal LEOs to use BWCs, we believe that the DOJ should carefully reassess its lack of BWC programs for DOJ LEOs and pursue the actions necessary to prepare for program implementation,” the report says.
In March, the U.S. House approved the Federal Police Camera and Accountability Act, which requires federal law enforcement to wear body cameras.