Hodges: All Minneapolis police officers will be equipped with body cameras by October

Mayor Hodges and Police Chief Janeé Harteau discussed Minneapolis’s body camera rollout Tuesday afternoon.

Ryan Faircloth

Starting Wednesday, nearly 200 Minneapolis police officers will wear body cameras daily.

Minneapolis Mayor Betsy Hodges and Minneapolis Police Chief Janeé Harteau held a press conference Tuesday to announce the update to the camera rollout.

The Minneapolis Police Department’s 1st Precinct officers were first to receive the cameras on July 11.

Officers in the 4th Precinct are currently undergoing body camera training, and will wear the new cameras by the end of July.

Harteau said since the July 11 deployment, the cameras have already captured footage of gun seizures and robberies.

She said having evidence of these crimes on video will help them prosecute offenders more quickly, since they won’t have to take time to talk to witnesses.

“The evidence is right there captured on that body camera,” Harteau said. “That is invaluable for time’s sake.”

Hodges said body cameras are a way to hold all involved in police interactions accountable.

“They are a tool that can increase trust and transparency between officers and the community,” she said.

Hodges said cities that have implemented similar camera measures have seen reductions in both the use of force and complaints.

In their finalized policy, Harteau said they drew from best practices used in other cities’ body camera programs.

“We know that this is a powerful tool,” Harteau said. “It’s a powerful tool in accountability, and public trust and in evidence collection.”

Minneapolis Deputy Chief Travis Glampe said rules for accessing footage were determined during this year’s legislative session.

“It’s limited to the people who are in the video, or if an officer uses force that results in [substantial] bodily harm to an individual, or greater, it can be released to the general public, or if an officer uses their firearm,” Glampe said.

He said substantial bodily harm is usually defined as an injury like a broken bone, or worse.

Glampe said the policy makes officers turn on the cameras in traffic stops, suspicious person stops and anytime an officer finds a situation “contentious.”

Body cameras will be worn by all officers citywide by mid-October.