WASHINGTON - The Justice Department says that it will allow state, local, territorial and tribal task force officers to use body-worn cameras on federal task forces across the country.
The department’s policy will permit federally deputized officers to activate a body-worn camera while serving arrest warrants, or during other planned arrest operations, and during the execution of search warrants. The policy is the result of a pilot program launched by the department last October.
“After spending a substantial amount of time examining this issue, assessing the results of the pilot program, and taking into account the interests and priorities of all the law enforcement agencies involved, I am pleased to announce that the department will permit the use of body-worn cameras on our federal task forces in specific circumstances,” said Attorney General William P. Barr in a release. “The Department of Justice has no higher priority than ensuring the safety and security of the American people and this policy will continue to help us fulfill that mission.”
The DOJ, through ATF, the DEA, the FBI, and the U.S. Marshals Service, partners with state, local, territorial, and tribal law enforcement on hundreds of federal task forces throughout the nation. Together, these task forces work to combat violent crime, stem the flow of illegal narcotics, and arrest dangerous fugitives.
Last October, the Attorney General announced a pilot program to consider the use of body-worn cameras on federal task forces. In January 2020, federal task force officers in several pilot cities began using body-worn cameras on task force operations, like Houston, Salt Lake City, Detroit, Wichita, and Park City. The pilot program concluded on Sept. 1.
State and local agencies that would like to participate in DOJ’s task force body-worn camera program may contact the Special-Agent-in-Charge of the federal agency sponsoring the task force, or, in the case of USMS-led task forces, the federal district’s U.S. Marshal.