(JustPatriots.com)- The U.S. Interior Department on Monday unveiled a series of new regulations that would mandate the use of body cameras for thousands of law enforcement personnel, ensure the release of video in certain severe instances, and limit the use of so-called no-knock warrants.
The task team was established by Interior Secretary Deb Haaland last year to foster even more confidence between the public and law enforcement. It comes after President Joe Biden issued an executive order mandating that federal law enforcement agencies examine and update their use-of-force policy.
The rules apply to the hundreds of law enforcement personnel who work for the Bureau of Indian Affairs, the Bureau of Land Management, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and the National Park Service under the Interior Department. 3.100 permanent law enforcement officers work for the organization.
While certain federal agencies, such as select park rangers, park police officers, and Fish and Wildlife officers, have already begun implementing body camera programs, the federal government has lagged behind many local police departments whose officers have been utilizing body cameras for years.
One of the new policies states clearly that body-worn cameras are a requirement for all Interior Department law enforcement officers who are patrolling or interacting with the public, and it also outlines the department’s intention to speed up the release of video following an incident that causes serious injury or death.
The body-worn cameras must be turned on by officers or agents “at the earliest opportunity of an encounter and should capture as much of the incident as feasible, commencing with the decision to engage an individual or vehicle,” according to the regulation. The policy specifies that the camera should continue to record until the event is finished.
According to the policy, after situations that result in “severe bodily injury or death, the Interior Department will try to hasten the public distribution” of video to “promote transparency and responsibility.”
The U.S. Department of Interior has updated its law enforcement agencies’ standards for using force.
Changes were made following the death of Breonna Taylor, who was shot and killed by police in her home during a no-knock warrant. Taylor’s death sparked months of protests over racial injustice in policing and the treatment of Black people in the United States.