Bill Would Make Police Video Available To Media

OKLAHOMA CITY – State Sen. Jim Wilson has filed legislation to allow audio and video recordings of the Department of Public Safety to be made public.

Wilson said he believes the media should have access to the videos, especially in light of controversial incidents involving officers. If enacted, the bill would amend the state’s Open Records Act.

“Our public safety officers are public servants who work at the will of the public, so why shouldn’t the public have access to video of them doing their jobs?" he asked. "It seems to me that releasing these digital records will help dispel the suspicion that they have something to hide.  Their job is to serve, protect and uphold the law."

“Unfortunately, we’ve had incidents where officers have abused their power while on duty.  There have also been instances where the media has exaggerated or provided inaccurate information about a case because they didn’t have the video and, therefore, didn’t have all the facts," Wilson said in a prepared statement.

Currently, certain items are not included under the definition of “record” under the Open Records Act, including computer software, nongovernment personal effects, personal financial information, credit reports, any digital audio/video recordings of toll collections and audio or video recordings of the Department of Public Safety.  

Wilson’s bill – Senate Bill 1252 – would allow DPS audio and video recordings to be made public.