Capitol Alert

California budget bill proposes body cameras for CHP

A body camera is shown on a police officer.
A body camera is shown on a police officer. Los Angeles Times

The California Highway Patrol would be required to plan for implementing a body camera pilot program by Jan. 1 under legislation moving through the budget process at the Capitol.

The measure, contained in a budget-related trailer bill, would require the CHP to consider minimum specifications for cameras and rules for sharing data recorded on cameras.

The Brown administration estimates the cost at $1 million. The measure is part of a package of bills lawmakers are expected to approve before the July 1 start of the next budget year.

Body cameras have gained increasing attention and have been adopted by many agencies around the country following deaths resulting from confrontations between police and unarmed black men.

Attorney General Kamala Harris announced in April that the California Department of Justice would become the first statewide agency to adopt a body camera program.

California lawmakers have filed several body camera bills in recent months. Some would set rules for how peace officers use those cameras. Another would have equipped local law enforcement with the cameras, funding the program by shifting what a committee analysis estimated to be $29 to $30 million from a driving penalty fund to the Board of State and Community Corrections.

That measure, Assembly Bill 65, stalled in the Assembly Appropriations Committee.