Monday | August 3, 2015

What They Are Saying About Senator Scott’s Safer Officers and Safer Citizens Act

Washington- Last week, U.S. Senator Tim Scott (R-SC) introduced hisSafer Officers and Safer Citizens Act, which will provide state, local and tribal police departments with resources to outfit officers with body-worn cameras. Now, editorial boards, local and national media outlets are taking notice of his leadership on the topic of body-worn cameras and criminal justice reform.

SOUTH CAROLINA…

  • Greenville News Editorial:"Sen. Tim Scott is moving decisively to help our country solve a damaging problem, and that is the suspicion and disbelief about what takes place during a police-involved shooting. The Republican U.S. senator has matched his passion for increasing the use of body-worn cameras by police officers with a new call for the federal government to help cover the costs, a deterrent in many communities….Police body cameras will not solve every dispute or conclusively answer every question about what happened during a police-involved shooting. They will help significantly, however, and in ways far beyond allowing the public to see what took place and how the person stopped by law enforcement had been treated." [Editorial, "Move quickly on police cameras,"Greenville News, 78/1/15]?
  • Aiken Standard Editorial:"Tim Scott's push in the U.S. Senate to provide states with $100 million in funding for body cameras is a sensible, straightforward step. Wiring police officers throughout the country with body cameras would certainly be advantageous, but it won't come without challenges, particularly for smaller police forces strapped for money." [Editorial, "Body camera legislation is a smart push forward,"Aiken Standard, 7/29/15]?
  • Florence Morning News Editorial:: "Thumbs up to U.S. Sen. Tim Scott for the leadership he is showing in Washington in regard to body camera legislation. The South Carolina Republican is pushing to provide states with $500 million in funding for body cameras. The Safer Officers and Safer Citizens Act would stream $100 million for each of the next five years into a fund for agencies that are challenged to pay for cameras. A push for body cameras in South Carolina gained momentum after Walter Scott was fatally shot by an officer in North Charleston." [Editorial, "Sen. Scott right to push for police body cameras,"Florence Morning News, 7/31/15]?
  • Post and Courier:"The bill could provide more than 120,000 of the cameras, which can vary in costs depending on type and how they are used." [Bo Peterson, "Scott proposes $100 million in grant for police body cameras,"Post and Courier, 7/27/15]
  • FOX Carolina:"The Safer Officers and Safer Citizens Act will allow the U.S. Department of Justice to create a $100 million annual grant program to allow departments apply for funds to help purchase and set up their body-worn camera programs." [Dal Kalsi, "Sen. Tim Scott introduces bill to fund police body cameras," FOX Carolina, 7/28/15]
  • Aiken Standard:"Tim Scott's push in the U.S. Senate to provide states with $100 million in funding for body cameras is a sensible, straightforward step. […] Efforts by Scott and others should be applauded as communities, the state and the nation look for more effective ways to police and find pragmatic changes toward law enforcement policies." [Derrek Asberry, "Scott seeks $100M a year for body cams,"Aiken Standard, 7/28/15]

NATIONALLY…

  • National Journal: "Sen. Tim Scott, a Republican from South Carolina, has introduced a bill to grant local law enforcement agencies $500,000,000 for body cameras over a five-year period. Scott says that arming agencies with cameras will help stem tensions between police and the communities they patrol." [Lauren Fox, "Chuck Grassley's Closer Than Ever to Giving in on Mandatory-Minimum Reform,"National Journal, 7/28/15]
  • McClatchy:"In the wake of several violent high-profile incidents involving law enforcement and citizens in his home state and across the country, Sen. Tim Scott, R-S.C., on Monday unveiled a $100 million proposal to help local police agencies pay for body-worn cameras for their officers…. Scott crafted to the bill to ensure that local law enforcement stays "in the hands of local law enforcement." [William Douglas, "South Carolina's Sen. Scott pushes for police body cameras."McClatchyDC, 7/27/15]
  • Politico:"Tim Scott was horrified by the video, played on an endless cable TV loop: Walter Scott, a 50-year-old unarmed black man, fleeing from a cop in South Carolina - only to be shot to death by the officer…. In the ensuing weeks, the GOP's lone black senator began building support for dramatically increasing the use of police body cameras to curtail the steady stream of deadly encounters that have occurred everywhere from Ferguson, Missouri, to New York City. On Tuesday, Scott will introduce a plan that would authorize up to $100 million annually for grants to police departments for officers to use body cameras while on patrol." [Manu Raju, $100 million body camera bill is personal for Sen. Scott,POLITICO, 7/27/15]?
  • Daily Signal: "Scott's legislation marks another notch in the growing bipartisan movement to overhaul the U.S.'s criminal justice system through sentencing and policing reforms." [Natalie Johnson, Tim Scott: $100-Million Body Camera Bill Will Make Police, Communities Safer,"Daily Signal, 7/29/15]?
  • Politic365: "Sen. Scott's approach is typical of conservative thinking on many policies. An emphasis on localized control, rather than having the federal government mandate policy in a broad way. The same approach has also been seen with regard to education policy." [Lauren Burke, "Sen. Tim Scott Talks Justice Reform and Outlines His Police Body Camera Bill,"Politic365.com, 7/29/15]

"Across our nation, too often we are seeing a lack of trust between communities and law enforcement lead to tragedy. While rebuilding that sense of trust will take time, I believe that providing law enforcement agencies with the resources they need to equip officers with body-worn cameras is an important step. We have seen that body-worn cameras can keep both officers and citizens safer, and that video can help provide clarity following an altercation. If a picture is worth a thousand words, then a video is worth a thousand pictures." - Senator Tim Scott

Related Issues:  Criminal Justice