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TALLAHASSEE (CBSMiami/NSF) – Under a bill moving through the state’s House, law enforcement officers could view footage on their body cameras before writing reports of incidents.

The Criminal Justice Subcommittee this week voted 11-1 in favor of the legislation.

The measure, which is supported by the Florida Sheriffs Association but opposed by the Southern Poverty Law Center, would allow police officers to see and hear what is on their cameras, and it would be up to local law enforcement agencies to come up with policies and procedures about how the officers would review the footage.

The bill’s sponsor, Rep. Shawn Harrison of Tampa, said police officers respond to a wide range of calls each day, from something as simple as a barking dog to a report of shots fired. He said viewing their body camera footage should help them remember what happened during calls.

“For the officer responding to a scene, things happen quickly,” Harrison said. “They probably don’t have a full recollection of every single bit of the incident. This will allow them to review everything before they formally have to write up a report.”

Last year, Gov. Rick Scott signed into law a measure that allows law enforcement agencies that want to use body cameras to establish policies and procedures addressing the proper use, maintenance and storage of body cameras and recorded data.

The News Service of Florida contributed to this report.


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