Public Safety Camera System - Draft Policy
To protect life, safeguard property, and maintain social order within carefully prescribed ethical and constitutional restrictions while providing community-based police services with compassion and concern.
It shall be the policy of the Norwich Police Department to utilize the Public Safety Camera System (PSCS) solely for the overt monitoring of public areas where no reasonable expectation for privacy exists. Those members of the Norwich Police Department who operate the Public Safety Camera System shall do so in accordance with the Department’s mission statement, state and federal laws.
- The PSCS may be used to monitor public spaces to facilitate the response to natural disasters, fires, other emergency conditions, event management and investigations of persons for whom there is a reasonable suspicion to believe have, or are about to, commit a crime.
- The PSCS may also be used to monitor public spaces where known or suspected criminal activities have existed with the intention to prevent crime and/or capture and arrest persons committing crimes.
- All uses of the PSCS will be conducted in a professional, legal and ethical manner.
- The use of the PSCS will not invade the privacy of individuals nor look into areas that could not been seen by the naked eye from a public space, or into areas where a reasonable expectation of privacy exists.
- The images collected by the PSCS shall not be used for the purpose of collecting or maintaining information about the political, religious or social views, associations or activities of any group, association, organization, corporation, business or partnership unless such information directly relates to a criminal investigation.
- At no time will the PSCS be relied upon or serve as a replacement for officers of the Norwich Police Department on patrol or responding to citizen calls for service.
- The pan/tilt/zoom feature of the PSCS shall not be used to monitor individuals based solely upon the person’s race, color, age, sex, marital status, sexual orientation, gender identity, creed, religion, ancestry, national origin, political beliefs, medical condition, physical disability, the exercise of the individual’s constitutional rights to freedom of speech and religious expression, petition, and assembly.
Storage & Archive Procedures
- All recordings, unless being used in a criminal investigation or prosecution shall be destroyed or deleted in accordance with the State of Connecticut Retention Schedule after thirty (30) days.
- No images will be stored absent a formal written request on forms provided by the Norwich Police Department. The forms will be maintained in a log by the Records Service Division Commander.
- Upon formal request to permanently store images from the PSCS, the images will be permanently stored, and treated as evidence.
- Images collected by the PSCS shall not be made available to parties or discoverable in civil disputes between private litigants except pursuant to an order issued by a Judge of the Superior Court of Connecticut.
- Images collected by the PSCS shall not be made available to other governmental agencies absent a formal written request.
Misuses of the PSCS by members of the Norwich Police Department will be fully investigated. Discipline up to and including termination may result based upon the totality of the circumstances involved in the misuse.