Body-worn cameras now used by police throughout Minneapolis
MINNEAPOLIS (Nov. 2, 2016) — The Minneapolis Police Department has completed the introduction of body-worn cameras to the police force. The cameras will now be worn by officers who respond to 911 calls in all five police precincts.
After years of studying, testing and evaluating, officers began wearing body cameras in the 1st Precinct back in July. The introduction of the cameras puts Minneapolis at the forefront of cities across the country that are using them to help improve interactions between police officers and residents. Body cameras are now a recommended best practice for policing.
“The full implementation of officer-worn body cameras delivers on an ongoing commitment to greater transparency and accountability,” said Mayor Betsy Hodges. “While body cameras are just one tool that improves relations between police and the community, it is an important one, and we are already seeing positive results. Chief Harteau and her team have worked hard throughout the implementation process, and through that leadership and dedication the Minneapolis Police Department continues to lead nationally in 21st century policing.”
“This has been a long but important journey for the Minneapolis Police Department, and I truly believe that Body Worn Cameras (BWCs) will increase transparency and public trust. These tools will eliminate some ‘he said, she said’ scenarios, which in turn, will lead to greater accountability for anyone involved in a police interaction. I’m proud to say the MPD has been extremely thorough throughout the process, from the community meetings regarding policy to the 6 month pilot program and finally, during the final 1,096 hours of training for our officers,” Police Chief Janeé Harteau said.
“People who live on the North Side want better community relations and increased transparency from their police department, and body-worn cameras on officers help do that,” said Council Member Blong Yang, who chairs the Public Safety, Civil Rights and Emergency Management committee. “Since the cameras were introduced in the 4th Precinct this summer, residents and police have told me that this is the most important step we’ve taken in this direction.”
The use of body-worn cameras comes after the finalization of MPD’s body-worn camera policy, which was developed with extensive feedback from and involvement with community. The cameras are an important tool in providing transparency in government and in helping improve relationships between police and community.