Minneapolis set to introduce police body cam pilot program this fall

PoliceBodyCams2.jpg
YouTube screengrab
A body-cam wearing police officer.

Minneapolis officials are on the cusp of rolling out the city's first police body camera program.

Kate Brickman, spokesperson for Mayor Betsy Hodges, tells us she expects the Minneapolis City Council to approve a pilot program this fall that will put cameras on roughly three dozen officers. If things go smoothly, full implementation will follow next year.

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Hodges's 2015 budget proposal, announced last month, included $1.4 million for police body cams. That budget has yet to be approved, but the body cam portion of it has the support of one key City Council member, Blong Yang, chair of council's public safety committee.

The council allotted $400,000 for the pilot program in this year's budget.

Minneapolis Police Chief Janeé Harteau and Hodges beefed over body cams during last year's mayoral campaign, but that was more over the timing of rolling out a body cam system than it was the idea itself, and Harteau has reportedly been working on a draft body cam policy this year.

Asked for specifics on how the pilot program will work, Brickman says some of the details remain to be determined, but it will last "at least six months."

"During this time, MPD will be able to gain a better understanding of the employee time and training needed to support the body camera system," she adds in an email. "It will also allow us to see how the body cameras operate during a range of environments, most importantly during the winter, as Minneapolis is one of the northernmost cities to use body cameras. For example: Do the cameras fog up when officers move from a heated car to the outside? How will officers wear the cameras with winter gear and various uniform styles? How do cameras operate during extended durations in extreme cold?"

Brickman doesn't have information about which parts of the city body-cam wearing officers will be working during the trial period, but in July, KSTP, citing MPD sources, reported that the pilot will focus on downtown, the north side, and southwest Minneapolis.

In January, MinnPost reported that the only long-term study of police body cam effectiveness, conducted in Rialto, California from February 2012 to July 2013, showed that police complaints declined by 88 percent during that time, which coincided with the city rolling out a body cam program. Officers used force 60 percent less often than they did before they wore cameras.

Brickman tells us the next step is for the council to choose a vendor to supply the cameras, which should happen later this month.

Send your story tips to the author, Aaron Rupar. Follow him on Twitter @atrupar.





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49 comments
Marc Churchill
Marc Churchill

Maybe now they'll be able to catch all those other restaurants who "Steal their servers tips..."

ron.fresquez
ron.fresquez topcommenter

Autopsy report shows Louisiana police lied about suspect’s suicide by shooting self in back. An autopsy report released this week cast further doubt on a police officer’s claim that a suspect committed suicide by shooting himself while handcuffed in the back of a police cruiser, reports KATC.


According to the first page of the official autopsy report released by the Iberia Parish Coroner’s Office, Victor White III, 22, died from a gunshot to the chest, not in his back as reported by the arresting officer.

White was arrested by State Police in March of this year on narcotics charges and, according to authorities, was handcuffed, with his hands behind his back, in the back seat of a police cruiser when he refused to exit the vehicle for processing. According to the police report, the arresting officer went to get help and when he returned he found White critically wounded from a gunshot wound to his back.

ron.fresquez
ron.fresquez topcommenter

Personally I think it is a waste of money. Americas police for the most part view the citizens they are hired to protect and serve as the enemy with few rights. Many, not all feel they are above the law. Body cams be damned the majority will do whatever they want. 

Cynthia Abbe
Cynthia Abbe

Great idea. But the cops who need them on are in florida, they are the awful.....

Samuel Thomas Kooy
Samuel Thomas Kooy

This is probably a waste of money, cops can do anything they want really.

Adrienne E. Reed
Adrienne E. Reed

the dumbest idea ever..not going to resolve issues..it's the cops themselves thank u!

John Bunch
John Bunch

You crying because you know I am right?

Rick White
Rick White

Who cares? We can have cell phone video of police killing/beating people and they still get out of it.

Keyser Söze
Keyser Söze

Nothing says "I win" quite like a bottle of milk and a tearful emojis.

Keyser Söze
Keyser Söze

So then we have body cams on every officer (I support for the record), but that is not good enough. Then people will suggest the footage has been altered in some manor by law enforcement, courts, or prosecutors. Eventually we will have to just go back to trusting our police officers.

John Bunch
John Bunch

Every cop in our big cities is a union man sent out to work by liberal Democrats. So who is to blame? Our most violent neighborhoods vote 90% Democrat.

John Bunch
John Bunch

I hope when you need a "pig", none shows up. Hope your self-defense skills are up to par.

John Bunch
John Bunch

Last night on Hennepin Avenue: HIGHLY intoxicated man with no shirt swinging a plank at another group. Did the cops shoot him or beat him? No. They rolled up and took his plank. No arrest. He probably went on terrorizing people for hours. You guys need tp check the facts and leave your Marxist rhetoric behind.

Keyser Söze
Keyser Söze

Carrie, that's an educated response to a non law-enforcement friendly individual. In other words, they will never understand it. I guess one of the major concerns I have with body cameras is HIPAA and how it would violate that act daily, hourly, heck by the second. Do people really want their health info stored on a server somewhere outside the doctors office? Worse yet, an offsite private entity as one person has suggested?

John Bunch
John Bunch

I regularly see highly intoxicated people, people fighting, teenage girls fist fighting, cars running red lights. Men beating and screaming at their girlfriends. People calling each other bitch and n-----. But cops are the problem. Riiiiiight

John Bunch
John Bunch

How do you know that? Have you hung out with cops? What do you base your view on?

JL Davenport
JL Davenport

John Bunch verbal abuse doesn't give stupid cops the right to beat, kill or give people false charges. Which is exactly what stupid cops do. Now their stupid asses will be on cam. But like Stuttering John said, those cams will probably "conveniently malfunction before rights are violated" so I suggest people invest in their own cams. They're inexpensive and can be in a shirt button, necklace, hair barrett, earring, on every mirror on your car, in a pen etc. Definitely find a way to protect yourself or record what is happening (strong evidence) besides depending on criminal cops and their system.

Sizzle Pants Culp
Sizzle Pants Culp

Yes, because the departments do such a glowing job of having their officers abide by the rules already.

Carrie Graf
Carrie Graf

Blair, of course they will be able to turn them off or take them off. Do you think they should be recorded while going to the bathroom or taking a break and making a personal phone call? They are still people with rights. I am sure there will be rules which state when the cameras can be turned off and it will be up to the department to enforce those rules.

Blair Tosh
Blair Tosh

I'm in favor of this as long as the officers themselves can't turn the cameras off and the video is stored by a non-police entity and equally accessible to all parties involved in any incident. Otherwise its not fixing anything, just papering over the cracks.

Andy Stealth Trattar
Andy Stealth Trattar

Don't let the cop wearing the camera decide whether or not it is recording! Dash cams already "mess up" enough or just vanish off the face of the earth...

ChazDanger
ChazDanger topcommenter

More Eyes, Less Tanks.

Joe Sattler
Joe Sattler

Good. If the cops aren't doing anything wrong, they shouldn't have anything to worry about, right?

Michele Harwell
Michele Harwell

Verbal abuse and intoxicated citizens are part of the job. Cry cry cry

Hector Gustavo
Hector Gustavo

Are Bloomington and Edina include ? As a cuban new to Minneapolis from Miami. I hate my experience with police I felt discrimination and treated with some racial profiling. And I am a 41 yr middle class union worker.

John Bunch
John Bunch

Cool, because they can capture all the verbal abuse they take and how intoxicated and crazy some people on the street are.

Amber Rahn
Amber Rahn

It has to start somewhere..I am happy to hear this.

_demoneyez
_demoneyez

@citypages those are the questions that need to be answered before throwing all support behind body cams

_demoneyez
_demoneyez

@citypages who will store the videos & for how long? is video being used for facial recognition projects? can the cams be turned off?

Stuttering John
Stuttering John

Too bad they conveniently malfunction before rights are violated.

MicheleBachmann
MicheleBachmann topcommenter

This is the future.  Cameras protect cops and private citizens.  The only people that have to fear cameras are crooked cops and the criminals that lie about honest cops.

ron.fresquez
ron.fresquez topcommenter

The Edina Police do not need body cameras. They need fewer low life's who come to Southdale to cause trouble.

ChazDanger
ChazDanger topcommenter

I think this is something we all agree with from both sides of the spectrum. 

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