Minneapolis Police begin using body cameras

Body cameras are now being used by the Minneapolis Police Department. Officers in the 1st Precinct began wearing body cameras earlier this month. Later in July, officers in the 4th Precinct will begin wearing them, and officers across the city will be wearing body cameras by the end of the year. The use of the cameras follows the finalization of the body-worn camera policy, which was developed with extensive feedback from and involvement with community.

The introduction of body cameras comes after years of studying, testing and evaluating, and it puts Minneapolis in the forefront of cities across the country that are using them to help improve interactions between police officers and residents. Body cameras are now a recommended best practice for 21st century policing. They can be a tool for building and enhancing accountability, transparency, and public trust. In other cities, the adoption of body cameras has also resulted in fewer use-of-force complaints.

Officer-worn body cameras are merely a tool for improving police-community relations; they are not a solution in themselves. But body cameras are an important tool, one that will help the City continue to transform the relationship between police and community for the better. They are not the final step in transparency, but they are a big step toward it.

More information:

·         The body-worn camera policy (section 4-223 of the “equipment and supplies” section of the MPD Policy & Procedure Manual).

·         A list of concerns that community raised about body camera policy, and an explanation of the considerations that went into addressing those concerns in the final policy.

·         Cover letter from Mayor Betsy Hodges and Minneapolis Police Chief Janee Harteau introducing body camera policy and other documents.

·         A backgrounder that the Police Department prepared about the development of the BWC program and policy.

Published Jul 15, 2016