Duluth Police Start Using Body Cameras; Will Mpls Follow?

Updated: 07/06/2014 9:43 PM
Created: 07/06/2014 7:18 PM
By: Megan Stewart

Duluth Police officers are now able to record any interactions they have with the public because each one of them has been assigned a body camera.

On Thursday, the small black square that hooks onto the officers' shirts became a standard part of their uniforms. The goal is to cut down on investigation times and costs when there are complaints about officers.

The video is uploaded at the end of each shift, but the department will not be randomly viewing it. Officers have been trained to hit record before any interaction with people, like traffic stops and interviews, because it doesn't record constantly.

The goal is also to improve officer safety. Plus, with video evidence, sometimes defendants are more likely to accept a plea deal.

Each camera costs about $300, and the department purchased almost 100 of them.

Minneapolis could someday see officers with cameras on them as well.

In March, KSTP reported the Minneapolis Police Department could begin testing a camera system this summer. They said if the cameras are ever implemented, there would be a six-month trial period beforehand.

The Minneapolis Police Department confirms it is in the process of buying body cameras for its officers. The department is working out the details of how many will be purchased and when they'll be on the streets.

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