The Office of Inspector General (OIG) at the U.S. Department of the Interior (DOI) released a new report on Sept. 14, detailing how the department has failed to implement and finalize its interim body camera policies.
The OIG had previously sent out a report in 2018 detailing similar findings that indicated that many of the agency departments needed to do more to adopt the interim policy.
“We reported in the January 2018 report that the Department’s draft body camera policy fell short of critical industry standards in areas such as data quality, systems security, and privacy,” stated Inspector General, Mark Lee Greenblatt.
The push for the use of body cameras comes from the need to lower the possibility for judicial or investigative proceedings to be challenged as well as to avoid diminishing the public’s trust in how officers of various bureaus conduct themselves.
Some of the examples of failure to meet the expectation or exceed the expectation of the 2017 policy are some of the following which bureaus lacked in.
- Provisions for supervisory review of body camera recordings;
- Prohibitions on manipulating or deleting body camera recordings;
- Requirements for annual follow-up training;
- Identification of technology administrators and training managers.
The report makes two recommendations that improve the oversight of the use of bodycams at various government agencies.
The first recommendation pushed the agency to “develop reasonable milestones to finalize and implement its body camera policy,” while the last suggestion aims at “ensuring that bureaus using body cameras update and finalize their policies within a defined timeframe to comply with any applicable interim or final Department policy,” stated the report.