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Local cops on federal task forces to wear body cams in Justice Department test program

By Dennis Romboy, KSL | Posted - Nov. 8, 2019 at 7:39 a.m.

SALT LAKE CITY — State and local police serving on federal task forces will wear body cameras for some operations as part of a Justice Department pilot program.

Starting Friday, Utah officers working with FBI, ATF, DEA, and U.S. Marshals will don the cameras while serving arrest warrants, during other planned arrests and for the execution of search warrants, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Salt Lake City.

Over the last several months, the Department of Justice has worked with federal, state and local law enforcement to examine the issues surrounding task force officers who operate under the authority of the federal government while retaining their affiliation with local police agencies.

Several state and local agencies require their officers to wear body-worn cameras and asked that their officers wear them on federal task forces when the use of force is possible. Officers in police departments around Utah routinely wear body cameras.

U.S. Attorney General William Barr chose Salt Lake City as one six jurisdictions for the pilot project, which will last 90 days, said U.S. Attorney John Huber.

Huber said the DOJ has developed an interim policy for the use of body-worn cameras, but is flexible enough to allow individual districts to work out the details. Information gathered from the pilot cities, as well as input from federal, state, and local agencies, will be used to write a final policy.

The DOJ partners with state, local, and tribal law enforcement on hundreds of federal task forces throughout the country. The task forces work to combat violent crime, stem the flow of illegal drugs and arrest dangerous fugitives.

Dennis Romboy

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