Blue Line

Preventing officers from becoming stars of the next viral video

Do officers know how to react when they have a camera pointed at them? Lack of knowledge of the rights of the public to record can easily result in negative outcomes. In response to this, the IACP, with support from the Office of Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS), created the Public Recording of Police (PROP) project to focus on identifying an effective response to these situations.

August 23, 2017  By The IACP Blog

Critical to this response is an understanding of several key points:

•    Officers should always assume they are being recorded when in public.
•    Arrests of individuals who are recording police activities must be based on factors that are unrelated to the act of recording. Recording officers does not, of itself, establish legal grounds for arrest, issuance of citations, or other enforcement actions.
•    Officers should develop a response ahead of time to deflect any negative reactions by recording individuals.

For more information, visit the newly available PROP toolkit where you can access a host of resources designed to assist agencies in educating officers on the proper response to recording individuals.

These resources include:

•    Model policy and concepts & issues paper,
•    Trifold brochure,
•    In-service training, featuring an Instructor’s Guide, Officer Study Guide, and PowerPoint presentation,
•    Roll-call training video,
•    Series of webinars focusing on frequently asked questions, the legal aspects of public recording, and the full in-service training.

Email the PROP team at with any questions.

Print this page


Stories continue below