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Grand Teton law enforcement rangers resume practice of wearing body-cams

River Ranger Patrolling the Snake River. (NPS/Adams)

CASPER, Wyo. — Grand Teton National Park announced on Friday that it has reinstated the use of body-worn cameras by law enforcement rangers in the park.

The park previously used body-worn cameras, but this was discontinued in 2018 “due to significant issues with data storage and aging equipment.” Grand Teton said that rangers again started wearing the body-cams on October 1 as modern equipment has addressed problems that led to discontinuation of the practice.

Grand Teton said the policy is in response to a National Park Service initiative “to meet the professional standards of modern policing.”

“The use of body-worn cameras by our law enforcement rangers demonstrates our commitment to responsible public service and brings our Grand Teton National Park law enforcement program in line with local law enforcement agencies who are currently using body-worn cameras,” Chief Ranger Erika Jostad said. 

Body cameras will only be worn by commissioned law enforcement rangers. Grand Teton said that the cameras will only be used “to gather information during law enforcement contacts to enhance accountability and transparency, collect evidence and document law enforcement actions.”

Cameras will not be active when rangers are having informal conversations with park visitors, according to Grand Teton.