School resource officers should not have to wear body cams, says Deputy/State Rep. Tipsword

Woodford County Chief Deputy/State Rep. Dennis Tipsword
Woodford County Chief Deputy/State Rep. Dennis Tipsword(25News Now)
Published: Apr. 27, 2023 at 12:13 AM CDT
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SPRINGFIELD (25News Now) - A Republican lawmaker who’s also the chief deputy of the Woodford County Sheriff’s Office does not believe school resource officers should have to wear body cams, and he thinks all state lawmakers should be required to ride along with police officers on patrol every year.

Legislation sponsored by State Rep. Dennis Tipsword from the 105th District faces an uncertain future in the Democratic-dominated General Assembly.

Tipsword explained privacy and safety reasons are behind House Bill 4050, which amends the Law Enforcement Officer-Worn Body Camera Act.

“All of the students that would be captured in the footage are juveniles, so all of their images would need to be redacted, making the footage useless,” said Tipsword.

“Officers working undercover would also be excluded from body cam mandates, because others working undercover may inadvertently be recorded and compromised, and that puts lives at risk,” Tipsword said.

He said the measure would also allow officers involved in “use of force” incidents to review their body cam footage before filling out their reports.

“A ‘use of force’ report is the most critical report a law enforcement official will fill out in his or her career, and it needs to be an accurate description of what happened.  In a high-stress situation, recall can be limited, so being allowed to review the footage is especially important,” said Tipsword.

He’s also sponsoring House Bill 3358, which requires lawmakers to complete an annual ride-along with police along with a simulation training program.