Minneapolis Police to Use Body Cameras as Early as September

Updated: 07/08/2014 7:34 AM
Created: 07/07/2014 10:16 PM
By: Jay Kolls

We now know when and where Minneapolis Police officers will soon be testing body cameras on the streets. The Minneapolis Police Department has confirmed that dozens of officers will test the body cameras in three precincts in late September or early October.

The tests will be done in precincts that generally have higher police activity. MPD says the body cams will be used for testing purposes only in the First Precinct downtown, the Fourth Precinct in North Minneapolis and the Fifth Precinct in southwest Minneapolis.

The city council set aside $400,000 to buy the cameras for the 2014 budget. Mayor Betsy Hodges made the body cam issue part of her campaign last year, and Mihnneapolis Police Chief Janee Harteau has been studying the issue for quite some time.

"I think we will be testing several different models of cameras to see what is best for us as a city and for the MPD," Minneapolis Public Safety Committee Chairman Blong Yang tells 5 EYEWITNESS News.

Yang says the cameras will help protect the public and officers on the streets and give citizens better protection if an officer ever crosses a line.

Yang says the hard part is not spending the money on the body cameras but rather implementing policies for their use and finding money to pay for the cost of storing the data. 

There will be questions about how long the MPD will be able to store the data and who will have access to the data that is stored.

Full implementation of the body cameras across all five police precincts is still about a year away because the testing period could be anywhere from six to eight months.

Minneapolis/St. Paul

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