Skip to main content

Do Colorado Local Law Enforcement Agencies require officers to wear "on scene" personal audio/video recording devices?

Lone Tree, CO |

1. Do all cops in all counties have to wear personal audio/video recording devices while on duty?
2. Is it difficult to have CO local law enforcement agencies "dash cam" video records pulled for a court case? Is there a standard retention/deletion policy for keeping the video records?

my lawyer thinks that there is no chance of a personal camera, and unlikely they would still have video record from 6 months ago in a dash cam, so is not even requesting to see if they exist and have them before we go to trial. Is he being realistic or lazy?

+ Read More

Attorney answers 2

Best Answer

Absolutely not. I was a judge in Montezuma County with small law enforcement agencies like the Cortez Police Department, the Mancos Town Marshall, the Dolores Town Marshall, the Dolores County Sheriff, and the Montezuma County Sheriff. Most of those agencies could barely afford to pay their officers, let alone afford the audio and video recording devices you are suggesting. In a perfect world that would be nice. However, that is a luxury that most law enforcement agencies would love but simply can't afford.

Most of the law enforcement agencies will retain dash cam videos for DUIs and other major traffic offenses, but not the minor ones. Once again, it is a cost thing. You have an attorney and should be heeding his advice or meeting with another attorney for a substitution of counsel if you are unsatisfied. My position in being an attorney for 25 years is always "you never know unless you ask" and "it never hurts to ask."

The information provided in this answer does not create an attorney-client relationship and is not considered to be legal advice.

Shaye Larkin

Shaye Larkin


Great response from Mr. Leroi. He was a judge in Montezuma County and knows what he is talking about.


There is no requirement that officers record their law enforcement activities. If an agency did record your traffic stop, and if the stop was for a criminal violation (DUI, reckless driving, etc.) as distinguished from a civil infraction, and if the arresting agency has erased or destroyed the tape, and if you can demonstrate that the tape would have shown evidence beneficial to your defense, and if you can show that your defense is prejudiced by the absence of this evidence, then you may be able to get some relief. That, however, is an awful lot of "if"s. It certainly cannot hurt to ask if a tape was made and, if it was made, demand the prosecution produce a copy of it.

Avvo DUI email series

Sign up to receive a 3-part series of useful information and legal advice about DUIs.

Can't find what you're looking for?

Post a free question on our public forum.

Ask a Question

- or -

Search for lawyers by reviews and ratings.

Find a Lawyer