Minneapolis PD looking into body cameras for street patrol officers

Categories: Crime
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Councilwoman Betsy Hodges says this Taser Axon Flex body worn camera could soon be worn by Minneapolis police officers
Politicians will speak to the press this afternoon about a possible plan to equip police officers with body cameras as early as 2014.

SEE ALSO: Minneapolis paid out $868k in police settlements for 2012

KSTP broke the story last night, citing unnamed sources who claim that "the plan is to have 500 officers wearing the body cameras next year but to start with a test group of 25 officers immediately." It'll reportedly cost $312,000.

Minneapolis police spokeswoman Cyndi Barrington countered by telling FOX 9 that, actually, the department has no immediate plans in place. She said the department's research is in the "infancy stages."

Either way, Minneapolis isn't the first city to consider this. Burnsville, in fact, has already started putting cameras on some officers working the streets.

The idea is being sold as a win-win for everybody -- as a way to protect officers and help get to the bottom of police misconduct complaints. The city has paid out $14 million over the last six years in lawsuits.

There's also a little matter of privacy and use. The ACLU of Minnesota says it's supportive of the cameras so long as the process put on place is transparent, and police and the community are willing to work together to build trust.

"The idea that you can turn this on and turn this off is a nonstarter for us," said Chuck Samuelson, the executive director of the state. "Frankly we've had problems in greater Minnesota with just that sort of thing happening with the squad-car cameras. We think this is not a bad idea, but we don't want to be seeing it abused."

-- Email Jesse Marx at jmarx@citypages.com or follow him on Twitter @marxjesse


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16 comments
James Cowart
James Cowart

hopefully with the new head officer (cant think of her name) changes MPD they do alot of shady shit hopefully this will atleast pave the way to enforcing law correctly

James Cowart
James Cowart

hell if it dampers their misconduct by 10% i dont care.

k2yeb
k2yeb topcommenter

This would help the cops more than us citizens. Any good cop would realize this would help more with false accusations way more than it would catch police misconduct. 

Go to London and then tell me about this countries obsession with cameras. We aren't even in 2nd place. 

mohanlon3
mohanlon3

If all the rest of us have to live in a society under constant camera watch, the cops should too...  How come it's okay for me to pass upwards of 300 cameras on just my commute to work, but not okay for the police?  I am fine with cameras being everywhere to make me more "safe" and I happily suggest that I would be much more safe of the actions of police were also being recorded.  Surely these consummate professionals never do anything illegal, and so have no reason to fear.  The good cops will support this idea, the ones who don't are unethical or downright dirty.

KosterFardos
KosterFardos

Don't feel safe?! Buy a gun,  Learn how to use one. Wear it on your belt. Better yet, become a politician, speak out against the fact that cops have more power than citizens. They have become a military force, when they were implemented and designed  to protect us citizens. President Obama said it after he killed Osama, "We are all citizens" God Bless this rotting apple. 

John Moore
John Moore

i don't know how a study could be concieved that would properly measure this, but it's plausible it can serve as a reminder to keep it copacetic. But that's no where near accountability.

Katie Berger Tremaine
Katie Berger Tremaine

The evidence says otherwise. Police are much less likely to use excessive force when they have body cameras.

digitalprotocol
digitalprotocol topcommenter

Here's an idea; make the pigs pay for the equipment just as they have to pay for gun, vest and other pussy gadgets

John Moore
John Moore

Jason, it affords no police accountability. the cameras or pictures in them can coincidently diseappear when a cop is accused of misconduct.

laxx1559
laxx1559

Great! It might cost 300,000, but think about the MILLIONS it will save in police misconduct suits- and all the people that wont be harassed or assaulted because of it.  

Kathy Drews
Kathy Drews

Good! However, how about putting some money into body armor for the canine officers instead of looking for donations all the time?!

Jason Harding
Jason Harding

Great idea, now we can finally hold the police responsible for their actions. Probably a good investment, wont be paying out millions every year with class-action law suits.

CinBlueland
CinBlueland topcommenter

Sounds like a good plan all the way around. 

Cops will have records of individuals being douche bags.

Citizens will have recordings of cops being douche bags.

Jeremy Hop
Jeremy Hop

Good, so will I via my cellphone.

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