Philadelphia House Delegation praises increased transparency by PA State Police

PSP fulfills promise to equip Philadelphia-area troopers with body cameras

HARRISBURG, April 29 – The Philadelphia House Delegation today applauded the Pennsylvania State Police for following up on their promise to expand the use of body cameras to the officers in Troop K serving the Philadelphia region.

During a public hearing with the House Appropriations Committee on the 2024-25 state budget in early March, State Police Commissioner Colonel Christopher Paris assured the committee that resources would be expedited to Southeastern PA for body camera recordings to be implemented on all officers.

“Transparency is critical in officer-involved incidents. The cameras now worn by Troop K and used in their vehicles will assist in that transparency and create accountability in the unfortunate use of force,” said delegation chairwoman Rep. Morgan Cephas, D-Phila. “This is about protecting our communities and protecting officers, giving everyone a little more peace of mind when issues arise.”

House Majority Appropriations Committee Chairman Jordan Harris, D-Phila, recounted the pledge to expedite body cameras by PSP leadership during the committee’s public hearings on the state budget.

“On March 4, 2024, the Appropriations Committee met with the Pennsylvania State Police for their budget hearing. This hearing immediately followed high-profile incidents with the PSP in our region; Commissioner Paris assured me and the committee that they would expedite resources to have body camera operations for Philadelphia and Southeastern Pennsylvania troopers in the next few weeks. Today, that promise was fulfilled, with Troop K outfitted ahead of schedule with recording devices for all troopers and their vehicles,” said Harris. “This is a significant step forward in creating trust and accountability with law enforcement in our communities.”

As a member of the House Appropriations Committee and the chairman of the Philadelphia House Delegation Subcommittee on Intergovernmental Affairs, Rep. Ben Waxman began the interrogation of PSP during the budget hearings about the perceived delay in the rollout of body cameras in the Philadelphia region.

“When it comes to police-community interactions, we must ensure there is trust on both sides,” Waxman said. “We have seen far too many instances in recent years of police arrests where there is uncertainty of what happened and who was in the wrong. This step being taken by Troop K will greatly help in providing clarity and keeping the trust between police and the communities they serve.”

This implementation is part of a statewide rollout of officer-worn and dash-mounted cameras to all troops which began in 2023. PSP said they expect to have all stations equipped by the end of the first quarter of 2025.