Minneapolis Leaders Request Response from Police on Body Camera Audit Findings

September 27, 2017 11:26 PM

City leaders in Minneapolis want the police department to respond to the findings of an internal audit on the department's officer body camera program and policies by the end of November.

Members of the council's Public Safety Committee asked Minneapolis Police Department Assistant Chief Mike Kjos Wednesday for a formal response by November 29th.

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The committee reviewed the findings of the internal audit, which found discrepancies on how often officers are using body cameras, gaps in supervisor training and oversight of the program's leadership within the department.

RELATED: Audit on Minneapolis Police Body Camera Program Released

Chairman Blong Yang explained to Kjos during the meeting that the public expects the body camera program to be "solid," but that it's difficult to pinpoint who is in charge of overseeing it.

"We have this great toy, this $8 million toy that's out there and we don't know who's in charge," Yang said during the meeting.

RELATED: Minnesota Shooting Shows Underuse of Police Body Camera

Councilwoman Linea Palmisano, who sits on both the Public Safety Committee and the Audit Committee, expressed concerns to Kjos about the audit findings and how the department plans to address those issues.

"The expectation by the public is that it's being used almost all the time in matters of policing," Palmisano said. "It's not being used 29 percent of the time. So we're asking the police department to come back and give very specific responses to all of the findings of this audit back to public safety."


Share your thoughts with Minneapolis city leaders about the police department's use of body cameras.


Kjos addressed several specific issues, including policy changes that need to happen to make the program easier for officers to follow.

RELATED: Minneapolis Police Body Cam Video Use Appears Low

"We don't want to wait for it to become a discipline issue," Kjos said to the committee. "We want to be in front of it so we are in compliance and we also need to make sure our policy makes sense."

The assistant chief explained the current policy — which has officers record every call and interaction from the moment they are dispatched — ends up showing a lot of "down time" on the recordings.

"I had one officer just this week telling me about two calls back to back where he recorded 86 minutes of down time in the car and one minute of interaction at a call," Kjos said. "We're going to have to come up with a policy that makes more sense to actually get the value out on the scenes and not just travel times."


Below are links to body camera policies at various departments in the state. 

None of the policies dictate that the cameras always be on, rather that they must be on in certain circumstances. As you can see, the policies are similar. 

A link to the Minnesota statute on body cameras can be found here. The law does not dictate body cam policies for departments. Further, the League of Minnesota Cities compiled a list of FAQs when the state law was added to the books in 2016.

Credits

Kirsten Swanson

Copyright 2017 - KSTP-TV, LLC A Hubbard Broadcasting Company

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