HB No. 4969 is a bill to amend Michigan law 1986 PA 109 and 2017 PA, MCL 780.312. . This bill has already been passed through the House and awaits approval to be passed by the senate and signed into law.
Just like any other law enforcement agency, it is good to have conservation officers who also enforce Michigan laws to wear body cams at all times to record every interaction with the general public. It has been found that body cams help determine when/if officers are doing their duty to not only protect and serve the general public, but it would be good evidence to hold those accountable who violate the rights of people. Conservation officers should be no exception to this. They have just as much, if not more jurisdiction to enforce laws, especially when it comes to monitoring and protecting Michigan’s natural resources. These officers can often use a law called the Environmental Protection Act to enter people’s private property without even presenting a warrant to the property owner. They also issue citations for hunting, fishing and trapping outside of the normal designated seasons. They often monitor ATV trails and issue citations when ORVs are in violation of any laws as well.
Ending Qualified Immunity is the ultimate goal to holding law enforcement officers and other public officials accountable for violating constitutional rights, and this law is a good practical step in that direction. With more videos being released to the public about interactions between law enforcement and the public, we can work toward a more free society with less micromanagement from big government and less violence and destruction of human rights.