This is big news for Minneapolis and the MPD.
Each of the patrol officers who respond to 911 calls is now wearing a body-worn camera.
At the end of October, the Minneapolis Police Department completed the implementation of Officer-worn body cameras in each of the City’s five police precincts. This completes the roll out process of the body cameras which began in July. We are marking this achievement here at 5th precinct headquarters, the last of the precincts to implement the roll out.
The conclusion of this phase of the body cam’s implementation comes after several years of study, community discussions, input and feedback. The program has been a priority for Chief Harteau since she became Chief in 2012 and has been a priority of mine since before I took office as Mayor.
And it has been a priority for the community as well. Residents and community leaders have repeatedly asked for body cameras in order to preserve video evidence of interactions between residents and police officers.
My 2017 budget, outlined in August and currently being considered by the City Council, calls for an additional $325,000 to continue to support the use of body camera technology. This is the third year of such an investment in the program.
These are challenging times across the country for police departments, the communities they serve, particularly communities of color.
While not the only tool, body cams can provide a tangible path towards transforming the relationship between police and community for the better. As I have noted previously when talking about all of the levers we are pulling to ensure greater transparency, accountability and the safety of the public overall, each lever we pull gets us closer to building trust between the police department and all of our communities. Body cams are an important tool for improving police-community relationships.
Chief Harteau and her team have worked hard throughout the process, and through that leadership and dedication the Minneapolis Police Department continues to lead nationally in 21st-century policing.
The implementation of body cameras has already proven successful. And a large part of that success is due to the engagement with the community, as the Police Department has met with stakeholders in neighborhoods throughout the city to explain the policy and demonstrate how body cameras work. I’m grateful to all those who have been part of that conversation.
I also want to express my appreciation to everyone involved in making this announcement a reality, including all of the officers involved in the body camera pilot program, the Department of Justice for their support and funding, and all those who have provided feedback and input along the way.