Minneapolis officials have taken the next step in equipping the city’s police force with body cameras after they approved a $170,000 pilot program to set 36 officers up with the surveillance equipment.
The Minneapolis City Council Committee approved the plan on Monday, and the council is set to finalize the pilot program’s plans by the end of the week. The council plans to evaluate the success of the program at six- and nine-month intervals to determine if the city should continue with the program or make strategic changes.
The city believes the program will be a success, and they have already begun taking measures to budget for additional body cameras. Minneapolis will provide an additional $1.1 million to the program in the fall of 2015.
The city will equip officers with two types of cameras to determine which capture the best picture and are less of a hindrance to the officer. One type of camera will attach to the front of an officer’s uniform, while the other camera will be clipped onto eyeglasses. The city will test out both methods during the pilot program.
Officers in Duluth and Burnsville are already using body cameras, and although statistics aren’t yet available, if it’s going anything like the program in Rialto, California, citizen complaints are likely down.
Avery Appelman comments
This is a step in the right direction for justice. Cameras mean that both officers and citizens will be held accountable for their actions by an unbiased third party. These cameras will clear up any question as to what events transpired.
I have little doubt that the pilot program will be successful in reducing complaints against officers and excessive force suits, as both parties will be on their best behavior. 10 years from now I think police body cameras will be the norm.
Related source: Pioneer Press