SENATE BILL 368
56th legislature - STATE OF NEW MEXICO - first session, 2023
RELATING TO LAW ENFORCEMENT; PROVIDING EXCEPTIONS IN CERTAIN SITUATIONS TO THE REQUIREMENT THAT LAW ENFORCEMENT USE BODY-WORN CAMERAS.
BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF NEW MEXICO:
SECTION 1. Section 29-1-18 NMSA 1978 (being Laws 2020 (1st S.S.), Chapter 7, Section 1) is amended to read:
"29-1-18. REQUIRING CERTAIN LAW ENFORCEMENT AGENCIES TO USE BODY-WORN CAMERAS WHILE ON DUTY--EXCEPTIONS--ADOPTION OF POLICIES AND PROCEDURES GOVERNING USE.--
A. A law enforcement agency shall require peace officers the agency employs and who routinely interact with the public to wear a body-worn camera while on duty, except as provided in Subsection B of this section. Each law enforcement agency subject to the provisions of this section shall adopt policies and procedures governing the use of body-worn cameras, including:
(1) requiring activation of a body-worn camera whenever a peace officer is responding to a call for service or at the initiation of any other law enforcement or investigative encounter between a peace officer and a member of the public;
(2) prohibiting deactivation of a body-worn camera until the conclusion of a law enforcement or investigative encounter;
(3) requiring that any video recorded by a body-worn camera shall be retained by the law enforcement agency for not less than one hundred twenty days; and
(4) establishing disciplinary rules for peace officers who:
(a) fail to operate a body-worn camera in accordance with law enforcement agency policies;
(b) intentionally manipulate a body-worn camera recording; or
(c) prematurely erase a body-worn camera recording in violation of law enforcement agency policies.
B. The provisions of Subsection A of this section shall not apply when a peace officer:
(1) notifies a member of the public of a death;
(2) conducts an undercover operation sanctioned by a law enforcement agency; or
(3) conducts an explosive recovery and disposal operation to render safe or disassemble an explosive or incendiary device and materials.
[B.] C. Peace officers who fail to comply with the policies and procedures required to be adopted pursuant to Subsection A of this section shall be presumed to have acted in bad faith and shall be deemed liable for the independent tort of negligent spoliation of evidence or the independent tort of intentional spoliation of evidence.
[C.] D. As used in this section:
(1) "body-worn camera" means an electronic device worn on a person's body that records both audio and video data;
(2) "law enforcement agency" means the police department of a municipality, the sheriff's office of a county, the New Mexico state police or the department of public safety; and
(3) "peace officer" means any full-time salaried or certified part-time salaried officer who by virtue of office or public employment is vested by law with the duty to maintain the public peace."
- 3 -