Body cam usage among MPD hits a milestone

Mayor Frey: “Before we instituted the policy we had somewhere around a 55-percent compliance rate.”

Edgar Linares
February 20, 2019 - 5:06 pm

Courtesy of Minneapolis Police Department

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Minneapolis Police say more of their officers are using their body cameras. The department reports that in the fourth quarter of 2018, body camera compliance was up to 90 percent.

“In a relatively short time the men and women of the MPD have embraced a new technology that both aides them in their duties, and can provide another lens of transparency to those we serve,” said Minneapolis Police Chief Medaria Arradondo.

In April of last year, Arradondo and Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey overhauled the body camera policy, adding strict disciplinary consequences for non-compliance and clarifying when the cameras must be activated.

“Before we instituted the policy we had somewhere around a 55-percent compliance rate,” said Mayor Frey.

Other changes to the body camera policy in 2018 required officers to activate their camera at least two city blocks away from the service location. If dispatched less than two blocks away, they are required to activate the camera immediately. In addition, if a camera begins to malfunction officers must notify a supervisor as soon as possible.

“Our officers are some of the biggest fans of the body cameras themselves,” said Frey. “They like to have that ongoing record of what’s happening… Conversely, it’s also good for the public as well, because it adds transparency; it reduces the likelihood of use-of-force.”

RELATED: MPD union leader wants quick release of body cam video of shooting

This month, MPD began a “Mandatory Mentoring” program for the 10-percent of officers who struggled to comply. The officers will be subject to intensive supervision, audits and regular reviews of camera usage.

St. Paul Police said their most recent audit from 2018 showed SPPD officers were 94-percent compliant with the department’s body worn camera policy.

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