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Senate Prez Gardiner Keeping An 'Eye' On Body Cameras Bill, Has Some Concerns

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MGN Online

Some top legislative leaders say they’re keeping an eye on a current bill mandating law enforcement agencies across the state wear body cameras.

Senate President Andy Gardiner says while there’s already been some dialogue over the bill filed by Rep. Shevrin Jones (D-West Park) and Sen. Chris Smith (D-Fort Lauderdale) in his chamber, he has some concerns.

“I do think one of the issues which I think is sort of an underlying issue that has to be discussed is public records when it comes to body cameras, and I’ve had some discussions with Senator Smith. I don’t know what the ultimate decision is,” said Gardiner, during an Annual Associated Press gathering in Tallahassee Wednesday.

He added,“I know that Jeff Ashton, the State Attorney in Orange County, we’ve had some dialogue about that. It’s a very unique situation, if we even go there. Obviously, we want as much advice as we can to make sure we’re providing the access, but we’re also not violating anybody’s privacy of their own home and different things like that.”

A House panel last week discussed the body cameras bill during a workshop, where law enforcement groups also expressed multiple concerns. Meanwhile, the bill’s House sponsor, Jones, says he’s now considering changing the bill to allow for local discretion.

For more news updates, follow Sascha Cordner on Twitter: @SaschaCordner.

Sascha Cordner has more than ten years of public radio experience. It includes working at NPR member station WUFT-FM in Gainesville for several years. She's worked in both radio and TV, serving in various capacities as a reporter, producer and anchor. She's also a graduate of the University of Florida with a bachelor's degree in telecommunications. She is the recipient of 15 awards from the Associated Press, Society of Professional Journalists (SPJ), and Edward R. Murrow. Her award-winning stories include her coverage on the infamous “Dozier School for Boys” and a feature titled "Male Breast Cancer: Lost in the Sea of Pink." Currently, Sascha serves as the host and producer of local and state news content for the afternoon news program "All Things Considered" at WFSU. Sascha primarily covers criminal justice and social services issues. When she's not reporting, Sascha likes catching up on her favorite TV shows, singing and reading. Follow Sascha Cordner on Twitter:@SaschaCordner.