Steve Zansberg, president of the Colorado Freedom of Information Coalition, has been appointed to serve on a new state committee that will study and report on issues related to the use of body-worn cameras by police officers in Colorado.
The study group, assembled by the Colorado Department of Public Safety, is mandated by HB 15-1285, which also establishes a grant program to help law enforcement agencies purchase body cameras, train officers and manage the video data.
The 15-member panel will study policies and best practices throughout the nation and make recommendations on questions such as when cameras must be turned on and off, when to require notification that a camera is in use and when another person’s consent is necessary.
Other questions involve public access to recordings and for how long those videos should be retained.
The new law requires that one panel member represent an organization that advocates for government transparency. Zansberg, a partner in the law firm of Levine Sullivan Koch & Schulz, recently helped draft the Media Law Resource Center’s model policy on public access to recordings made by police body-worn cameras.
“I believe that with certain limited and justified exceptions, the public interest is strongly advanced by public inspection of records that memorialize peace officers performing their official public functions,” Zansberg said.
Most of the other study group members have been named. They include: Dacono Police Chief Brian Skaggs; Lone Tree Police Chief Jeff Streeter; Arapahoe County Sheriff Dave Walcher; Pitkin County Sheriff Joe DiSalvo; Suzette Freidenberger, president of the Colorado Police Protective Association; Jim Moore of the Colorado Department of Corrections; Michael Dougherty, assistant district attorney in the First Judicial District; Cynthia Kowert of the Office of the Attorney General; Kathryn Hay, a public defender in Larimer County; Rosemary Lytle, president of the Colorado State Conference NAACP; Denise Maes, public policy director for the American Civil Liberties Union of Colorado; Joe Perez of Greeley; and Anthony Clayton of Denver.
The first meeting is scheduled for Aug. 25. The panel’s report is due Mar. 1, 2016.
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