House passes bill to make OHP dash cam videos open records

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OKLAHOMA CITY, OK -- Dash cam videos from the Oklahoma Highway Patrol may soon become available for anyone to see. Currently, OHP is the only police agency in the state that is not able to release dash cam videos to the public but state representatives hope to change that soon.

"Common sense. It's a common sense piece of legislation that they're the only folks in the entire state that the dash cams are not subject to the open records act," said state representative, Ken Walker.
Walker authored the bill that passed the House Wednesday. It would require OHP to adhere to the Oklahoma Open Records Act.
He says it will improve government transparency.

"It's good for the police. It's good for the public, so that everybody knows exactly what happens when somebody is stopped," said Walker.

Captain Ronnie Hampton of the Oklahoma Highway Patrol says,"Everything we can do to show the public that you know we're out there doing our job the way we're supposed to, protecting our constitutional rights, and enforcing the state and town laws, that's a good thing."

Hampton says he's on board with the legislation.
But opponents argue producing the videos takes up a lot of time and that someone who's upset with a law enforcement officer could use it to paint that officer in a bad light.

But Hampton says, "As a commander that's one of the things that I do is I watch these guys videos and, you know, I can tell you that our guys do a really, really good job out there and I haven't seen anything that concerned me in the videos that I've watched in the past 6 years."

Walker says with the approval of both state agencies and the House, he's hopeful the bill will become law...

"Certainly I've communicated with the department of public safety and they're on board and so certainly that helps,you know, in passing the legislation," said Walker.

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