Minneapolis Police Body Cam Video Use Appears Low

July 12, 2017 10:59 PM

Data obtained by 5 EYEWITNESS NEWS provides a one-month snapshot into the average number of uploaded video hours by Minneapolis police officers.

The data is from March of this year.

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Police department records indicate there were 420 officers who worked in March and were assigned a body camera on their shifts.  The body camera policy is complicated, but essentially every officer who wears a body cam must turn it on while responding to critical incidents, traffic stops and domestic disturbances.

Those records show that on average officers across the city uploaded between 5.2 to 6.1 hours of body camera video footage for the entire month.  The seven City Hall officers assigned to wear a body camera averaged 16 hours of uploaded video for the month.


Minneapolis Police Body Cam Data for March 2017

  Total number of officers working with body cameras Total hours worked in 911 capacity Body worn camera hours
Precinct 1 79 11,576.5 439.48
Precinct 2 74 10,177 388.72
Precinct 3 94 13.454.75 506.55
Precinct 4 95 13,465.75 584.17
Precinct 5 71 10,112.8 513.03
City Hall 7 979.5 112.32

A Minneapolis Police Department spokesperson Corey Schmidt told 5 EYEWITNESS NEWS it is hard to know right now if those numbers are low because the department does not have enough year-to-date data to compare it with.

"It is a very good question that you're asking and that is something we are trying to answer," Schmidt said.

Schmidt said the department has a quality control division and a commander is now reviewing the body camera program.

"To see, one, are officers using them," Schmidt said. "Two, are there ways we can use them and improve and use them more.

"And, three, identifying any deficiencies in the program to make policy change, or to do individual coaching with people."

Blong Yang, the chair of the Minneapolis City Council's Public Safety Committee, said the body camera usage appeared low and he was seeking an explanation.

"I think, certainly, a conversation with the Chief and Assistant Chief," Yang said. "The brass - first to put this on their radar, and then certainly at some point raise it with the mayor."

Yang also indicated he might ask the city auditor to review the body camera program to make sure it has an independent review.

"Looking at the numbers you're showing me, it is concerning," Yang said.

It cost Minneapolis about $2 million to study, test and implement its current body camera policy and program.

Credits

Jay Kolls

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

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