Mpls. Police Body Cameras Could Hit Streets Soon

Updated: 03/24/2014 7:42 AM
Created: 03/23/2014 9:25 PM
By: Jay Kolls

The chairman of the Minneapolis City Council Public Safety Committee tells 5 EYEWITNESS NEWS that Minneapolis Police could start testing new body cameras as soon as early June. 

Blong Yang says the cameras will be tested and then, once the wrinkles are ironed out, they will be on hundreds of police officers on the streets of Minneapolis.

Yang says this program "is good, overall, because it will protect police from bogus allegations of wrongdoing, and it will also save the city from unnecessary litigation when officers have acted poorly."

He says the police department is trying to put the finishing touches on how the body camera testing will be carried out and which type of camera will be used. The north side Fourth Precinct Inspector has indicated he would like to use his precinct officers for the test pilot, according to Yang.

There are a number of options from wearing the cameras on eyeglasses, to hats and even on an officers' uniform. Yang says the city is not moving too slowly with the body cameras because "we have to make sure we have written policies and that the testing goes well."

Mayor Betsy Hodges declined our request for an interview, but a spokesperson told us the mayor and Police Chief Janeé Harteau have met on the body camera topic several times and progress is being made.

Neither the mayor's office nor police department would provide an exact timeline for the body camera testing.

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