About the Program
In 2021, Clackamas County voters approved a five-year Public Safety Levy that included funding for a Sheriff’s Office Body-worn Camera (BWC) Program. This public support allowed the Sheriff’s Office to begin equipping patrol deputies serving unincorporated Clackamas County, the Enhanced Law Enforcement District (ELED) and the contract cities of Estacada, Happy Valley and Wilsonville with body-worn cameras.
The BWC Program allows the Sheriff’s Office to increase officer safety, strengthen evidence for cases and increase trust and transparency within our community.
Oregon law specifically regulates law enforcement use and operation of body-worn cameras, the public disclosure of BWC video, and requires agencies to adopt a body-worn camera policy. You can access the Sheriff’s Office policy here: CCSO Policy # 41 BWC.
Relevant Oregon laws are referenced below in the answers to frequently asked questions.
Frequently Asked Questions
A body-worn camera is a small camera mounted on the uniform of a deputy which objectively records video and audio of interactions between deputies and the people they contact. The cameras are mounted on the torso and in a position designed to produce an effective recording.110226
The brand of camera is Axon.110226
When a deputy wears a body-worn camera, Oregon law requires the deputy to activate the device beginning when the deputy develops reasonable suspicion or probable cause that a crime or violation has occurred, is occurring, or will occur and the deputy begins to contact the person suspected of committing the offense. The body-worn camera must remain on and continuously record at least until termination of the deputy’s participation in the contact. ORS 133.741
In addition to situations that require mandatory activation of the BWC, a deputy may record other interactions of a non-criminal nature with the people they contact, when the deputy believes it would be appropriate or valuable to document the contact consistent with law.110226
Oregon law requires that a BWC be set to continuously record beginning when a contact occurs and not stop recording until the deputy terminates the contact. There are few exceptions to this legal standard. The deputy may stop recording when it reasonably appears to the deputy that such privacy may outweigh any legitimate law enforcement interest in recording. Deputies will activate the body-worn camera when privacy is no longer an issue, unless the circumstances do not require recording. ORS 133.741110226
In accordance with Oregon Law, at the beginning of an interaction the deputy will give a verbal announcement to the person that a body-worn camera is recording. The law does not require an announcement in situations where it would cause jeopardy to a deputy or any other person, or would unreasonably interfere with a criminal investigation. ORS 165.540110226
Yes, whenever a deputy can lawfully enter a residence under the following circumstances: (1) there is a warrant that allows entry; or (2) there is consent from the resident; or (3) there is a legal exception, such as an exigent circumstance, that allows entry. When consent is given, the BWC will continuously record absent a specific legal exception that allows the deputy to end the recording.110226
No, the original version of the video is considered evidence and cannot be changed by anyone. For purposes of public records requests, when a BWC video is subject to disclosure, Oregon law requires the Sheriff’s Office to edit the video in a manner as to render the faces of all persons in the video unidentifiable. The original version of the video will remain unchanged, however. ORS 192.345110226
A deputy is not authorized to delete a video. Oregon law does require deletion of videos after 30 months for a recording not related to a court proceeding or ongoing criminal investigation. To ensure this occurs the Sheriff’s Office videos are deleted by an automated retention system based upon the type of incident recorded. ORS 133.741110226
Body-worn camera video is retained for a minimum of 180 days, but no more than 30 months if not related to either a court proceeding or ongoing criminal investigation. All data, images, video, and metadata captured by body-worn cameras are subject to Oregon laws and Sheriff’s Office policies regarding retention and distribution of law enforcement records. All data is stored in compliance with the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) Criminal Justice Information Services Division’s (CJIS) security policy that governs access to law enforcement data.110226
If you are a defendant in a criminal prosecution, then you will receive a copy of BWC video evidence through criminal discovery. Otherwise, Oregon Public Records Law conditionally exempts BWC video from disclosure unless the public interest requires disclosure. When a video is disclosed, Oregon law requires facial features of all participants in the video to be edited to render the faces unidentifiable. Requests must identify the approximate date and time of an incident recorded by a body-worn camera. ORS 192.345 (40)110226