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House Bill 291

House Bill 291

Phil Haunschild
March 16, 2017

Bill Description: This bill defines law enforcement media recordings and requires they be retained for a fixed period of time before they are disposed of by law enforcement.

Rating: +1

Analyst’s Note: This bill is a revised version of House Bill 174 from earlier this legislative session. It has increased the length of time for which each recording would be held and has specified that this information would be held to the same standards for public records requests as all other public information by referencing Idaho Code 74-102.

Does it in any way restrict public access to information related to government activity or otherwise compromise government transparency or accountability? Conversely, does it increase public access to information related to government activity or increase government transparency or accountability? 

This bill would define such recordings as a “digital record created by a law enforcement agency in the performance of its duties that consists of a recording of visual or audible components or both.” Law enforcement would be expected to keep digital records with evidentiary value for 200 days and all others for 60 days. Recordings from security cameras affixed to a building must be stored for 30 days. Evidentiary value is defined as “containing information relevant to (i) Any use of force by a government agency; (ii) Any events leading up to and including an arrest or citation for a criminal offense; (iii) Any events that constitute a criminal offense; (iv) Any encounter about which a complaint has been filed by a subject, or his representative, of the media recording; (v) Any encounter about which a valid public records request has been filed by a subject, or his representative, of the media recording.”
This bill would ensure law enforcement media recordings are available to the public in cases of misuse of power or other unjust acts by law enforcement. (+1)

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