Legislation or Bill(s)

Three bills proposed in state legislature (HB 1521, HB 1534, and HB 2280) would have addressed body camera use, but none passed

Collection of Video

HB 1534 would require State Police to use body cameras, and HB 1521 would require police forces with more than 100 officers to use body cameras.

HB 2280, by contrast, would not allow police forces to use body cameras without first establishing a written policy for their use that conforms to a model policy to be issued by State Dept. of Criminal Justice Services (DCJS)

Retention of Video

HB 1521 would delegate retention authority to DCJS

HB 1534 would require state police to transfer all recordings to the State Attorney General every 24 hours, who would then retain recordings for 30 days.

HB 2280 would require all recordings to be destroyed within seven days, unless they (1) were relevant to an active criminal investigation, (2) depicted the use of force by the camera wearer or (3) depicted conduct by the wearer that is subject to a complaint.

FOIA Exemptions

HB 1521 would delegate retention authority to DCJS.

HB 1534 would prohibit disclosure of all recordings unless pursuant to court order or upon request of (1) a person alleging he has been the subject of unlawful officer conduct, (2) an officer alleged to have engaged in unlawful conduct or (3) the officer's employer. Unlawful dissemination of recordings would be a felony.

HB 2280 would make all recordings public unless related to an active criminal investigation, but only if recorded individuals consented or their images were redacted

VA's FOIA has an exemption for records used in criminal investigations, including dashcam videos. They are not subject to the Act, but may be disclosed at the discretion of the records custodian.