Senate Passes Measure to Allow Use of Body Cameras by WCOs

HARRISBURG — The Senate approved legislation Wednesday that would allow Pennsylvania Wildlife Conservation Officers and Waterways Conservation Officers (WCOs) to use body cameras, according to Sen. Richard Alloway II (R-33), who supported the measure.

House Bill 2178 would define WCOs as law enforcement officers under the state’s Wiretapping and Electronic Surveillance Control Act. Officers would be required to complete training on the use of body cameras in a course approved by the Pennsylvania State Police.

Alloway noted that the use of body cameras by law enforcement officers have been shown to reduce the number of incidents involving force.

“WCOs face significant dangers in the course of performing their jobs, and they deserve to have the necessary tools to protect themselves and the public,” Alloway said. “The use of these devices will help relay accurate information on incidents when they occur and deter all parties from behaving in an inappropriate or dangerous manner.”

In 2010, Wildlife Conservation Officer David L. Grove was shot and killed while investigating reports of ongoing nighttime shooting and possible poaching activity in Freedom Township.

The amended legislation, which was introduced by Rep. Dan Moul (R-91), was sent to the House of Representatives for consideration.

CONTACT:  Jeremy Shoemaker (717) 787-4651