The Daily Item, Sunbury, PA

News

November 19, 2013

State bill advances to expand use of police recording devices

HARRISBURG — A bill is advancing in the Pennsylvania state Senate that would allow police officers to use recording devices more broadly without court approval.

The Senate Judiciary Committee unanimously approved the bill Tuesday.

It would expand the current exemption from court approval that exists for video and audio recorders that are mounted in law-enforcement vehicles.

The sponsor, Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Stewart Greenleaf, says the bill would expand the exemption to officers who use a recording device while on a motorcycle, a horse, a bicycle or on foot.

The recording devices must be approved by the state police and can’t be used inside a person’s residence.

Andrew Hoover of the American Civil Liberties Union says he’s concerned about whether officers would be allowed to selectively turn off a recorder.

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