A goal of the Elizabethtown Police Department is to promote transparency and accountability within our community. In an effort to achieve this goal, Elizabethtown has become the first law enforcement agency in Bladen County to implement body worn cameras. With the assistance of the North Carolina Crime Commission, we received a 50/50 grant that allowed us to purchase body worn cameras for all uniformed members of our patrol division.
With enhanced technology, body worn cameras are both useful and necessary for informing and maintaining public confidence and trust. Body worn cameras enables officers to record situations that occur in most any environment and provide the best opportunity of capturing the entirety of an incident. It also enables the Police Department to preserve and present video evidence, as well as address any concerns with factual information.
The department began issuing the body worn cameras to all uniformed officers in our patrol division during the month of June and will be fully implemented and operational by August 1st, after all officers have received the proper training.
What is Recorded?
Elizabethtown police officers are required to record interactions using their body worn camera when responding to calls for service and conducting proactive policing activities (i.e. vehicle stops). Police are not required to record the entire time they are at work, such as meal breaks, routine patrol or during casual conversations with members of the public.
Who Can View the Video?
N.C.G.S. § 132-1.4 A (c) regulates who is allowed to watch video recordings made with police body worn cameras. Typically, if you are on the video from an officer’s body worn camera, the law would allow for you to watch the video. There are other specifics about who is legally allowed to watch these videos.
How to Request to View the Video?
By state law, your request to watch recordings from a body worn camera must be approved by the Chief of Police or his designee. The police officer who made the recording cannot show you the video.
To see the video, a request must be made in writing. This can be done at the Police Department, or you may download the form from our website (www.etownpdnc.com) and return same to our department, either in person, or by mail, fax or email. Within three working days of submitting your request, the chief’s designee will contact you and let you know whether or not you are permitted to view the video and how to proceed.
Please contact the chief if you have any further questions by calling 910-862-3125.