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Are More Police Body Cameras Coming to Pennsylvania?

While other states have embraced the use of police body cameras, Pennsylvania has been hesitant to adopt the new technology. This is mainly due to state wiretap law concerning citizen privacy: recording audio and video without consent, in many cases, can be illegal. These restrictions, however, may be facing a change. As CBS Pittsburgh reports, new legislature submitted to the state government is looking to amend wiretap law and allow police departments establish new body camera policies.

One such bill is Senate Bill 483, submitted by Senator Jim Brewster. "For folks who have ever been out with an officer and see how quick things happen, how seconds can turn into life-threatening events, this is just a practical extension of the law that protects everyone," Brewster told the press.

Some departments, like Clairton Police, do use a limited amount of body cameras, but must turn them off when they enter a home or building. Still, Clairton Police Chief Robert Hoffman admitted to CBS, even with intermittent use, his department's body cameras have made a huge difference in investigating and solving crimes—and decreasing officer complaints.

An inevitable change to our criminal justice system?

Because body cameras are so new, it is hard to forecast what change could have on our criminal justice system. While many departments feel that they bring an unprecedented accuracy to their work, others are worried about civil liberty issues. The American Civil Liberties Union, for example, is working with Senator Brewster to hone SB 483's language so that it equally protects both citizens and police.

However, there is a strong sentiment among many lawmakers and police departments that this technology ultimately represents the future of policing and will benefit society as a whole. "This is a tool that the officers can have," Senator Brewster told the press. "It protects the citizens, it protects the officers.”

If you or a loved one has been charged with a criminal offense, then their choice in legal representation is critical. At Curcillo Law, LLC, our dedicated team of Harrisburg criminal defense attorneys have more than 90 years of collective legal experience. Over that time, we have helped countless accused face their allegations with confidence and navigated their cases to their best possible outcome.

Put your case in experienced hands. Contact us today.

Categories: Criminal Defense
  • Experience

    90 Years
    Combined Experience

    When choosing a lawyer, experience makes the difference in the fight.

    Read Our Firm's History [+]
  • Success

    Top 100
    Trial Lawyers

    We have been awarded many honors, from Super Lawyers® to Top 100 Trial Lawyers.

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  • Devotion

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    Reviews

    Every client & their victory is priority to us as demonstrated through our reviews.

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  • Protection

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