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Bill #:  1917

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Body camera legislation

Companion bill #: No Companion Bill.

House - Senate - Conference/Concurrence - DEAD

Summary/AWC comments

HB 1917 is the result of work done by AWC and the Washington Association of Sheriffs and Police Chiefs. AWC supports this legislation in order to bring much needed clarity to jurisdictions that use body cameras.

HB 1917 outlines provisions surrounding the disclosure of video (dash/body cameras, etc.) and/or sound recordings by a uniformed law enforcement or corrections officer while in the course of the official duties. They include:

1) A request must specifically identify the name of the person or persons involved and the incident or case number, or the specific date, time and location of the incident. The request must be made by a person directly involved in the incident recorded or be an attorney representing the individual involved in the recording; or

2) Upon a court order finding it is found it is within the public's interest to disclose the video or sound recording.

Law enforcement responding to such requests must require any person requesting a video or sound recording to identify his/herself to ensure compliance.

A law enforcement agency responding to a request for a recording may require the requestor to pay the costs of redacting any portion of the recording before disclosure.

On Thursday, February 19, the House Judiciary Committee took executive action and amended the bill. It was amended as follows:

  • Limits the legislation to jurisdictions that have developed body cameras by the effective date of the act;
  • Removes the requirement that a person who requests and receives a recording give direct third party notice to all non-law enforcement or corrections individuals before disclosing the recording to any other person;
  • Provides that a person not involved in the incident who seeks disclosure of a recording must obtain a court order finding that the person requesting disclosure gave notice and opportunity to obtain a court order to enjoin all or some of the intended disclosure to all non-law enforcement or corrections individuals;
  • Requires law enforcement agencies that use body-worn cameras to set minimum policies regarding when a body-worn camera must be activated and de-activated and when an officer has the discretion to activate and de-activate body-worn cameras;
  • Stipulates what to do when a person may be unwilling to communicate with an officer who is recording the communication;
  • Stipulates how an officer will document when and why a body-worn camera was de-activated;
  • Creates a taskforce to review and report on law enforcement agencies use of body-worn and vehicle-mounted cameras; and
  • Provides that recordings may be used for officer accountability, evidentiary purposes, and any other purpose not prohibited by law.

Latest version of bill:

Link to WA Legislative bill page

Official title:

AN ACT Relating to video and/or sound recordings made by law enforcement or corrections officers;


Hansen, Pettigrew, Ortiz-Self, Appleton

Go To Bill #


AWC Contacts

Analyst:  Jane Wall
Lobbyist:  Candice Bock

Issue Area

General Government

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