EL PASO, Texas (KVIA) - The El Paso field office of the FBI is the first in Texas and the sixth in the nation to have body-worn cameras for field agents. But unlike the body cameras worn by police officers and sheriff's deputies, these have a specific purpose.
"They'll be worn specifically for pre-planned operations," explained Jeffery Downey, Special Agent in Charge of the El Paso FBI office. "They'll be used when we serve arrest warrants and search warrants." All body worn camera footage is considered electronic surveillance evidence and all video segments will be handled and stored by the FBI as evidence.
In June of 2021, the Department of Justice announced all law enforcement bodies under DOJ would use body-worn cameras in an effort to build trust with the communities the FBI serves through transparency and accountability. In August 2022, the FBI published its interim policy for public awareness and education and began the phased implementation to the field.
In October 2022, new agent trainees started receiving Body-Worn Camera curriculum training at Quantico. By 2024, all FBI field offices will have body-worn cameras for operational use.