When HSEMA put its Proposed Rule out for comment, the ACLU and the Constitution Project responded with comments (43) that paralleled the content of a Fall 2006 New York Civil Liberties Union (NYCLU) report.
HSEMA's most recent amendments to its Proposed Rule reflect all of the recommendations outlined in the NYCLU report and the comments HSEMA received.
Initially, MPD policy section 2500 appears to focus on achieving situational awareness, which is one HSEMA's most critical functions.
The section of the MPD regulations vesting authority in the Chief of Police raises the following question: If HSEMA operates its consolidation of interagency cameras under these MPD regulations, in whom is this authority vested--surely not the Chief of Police?
The MPD regulations' references to the Chief of Police comprise one of the many outstanding issues that remain with applying these regulations to HSEMA's CCTV program.
The current saving grace for HSEMA's program lies in section 2500.3, which reads, "[i]n addition to the purposes listed in 2500.2, the CCTV system may also be employed in exigent circumstances for the duration of the exigent event or circumstance." (80) One could argue that ever since September 11, 2001, the nation's capital has been in an ongoing state of vigilance.
First, the responsibility for storage and security of recorded footage needs to be clarified--either the coordinating agency (in Washington, D.C., HSEMA) must handle this or each agency must be responsible for its own camera feeds.
(37) The ACLU's and the Constitution Project's submitted written comments (July 21, 2008, November 26, 2008, and July 17, 2008, respectively) on HSEMA's proposed rule are not published but may be accessed by sending a written request to HSEMA's Public Information Officer.