Minneapolis PD to begin body camera pilot program
A select group of police officers in Minneapolis will serve as the test subjects in a body camera trial planned to last for the six months from the beginning of November through April 2015. Police magazine said the pilot program will involve 36 officers from three different precincts in the MPD's jurisdiction. The six-month window will allow the department to measure the effectiveness of the cameras from a technical standpoint as well as get feedback from the officers using them about day-to-day operations. The current plan is to have all officers wearing cameras by the end of 2015. The pilot program will allow the department to develop standard operating procedures, best practices for use and address other concerns ahead of a full rollout.
Focusing on the basics
Although they aren't a particularly complicated or intrusive technology in terms of regular use - ideally, officers should be able to quickly attach them to their uniforms, turn them on and be on their way - body cameras involve some unique considerations at the start. The Minneapolis Police Department is currently focusing on the more technical needs related to deployment of the cameras on officers to ensure a smooth implementation when the program spreads out to the entire force next year. This includes using two types of cameras from different vendors to decide on a final supplier, according to The Minneapolis Post.
City council wants more information
The Minneapolis Post reported that City Council members have asked department leaders to also consider measuring the effects of body cameras on the behavior of both officers and the members of the public they interact with. The other major factor that the city government wanted to track was the potential increase in public trust related to officers wearing cameras in the line of duty. Travis Glampe, Minneapolis Police Department deputy chief, told the city council that it would be hard to track the overall impact in these areas under the limited pilot program.
Technology that improves policing
Body cameras offer plenty of advantages to departments that use them, including reliable incident documentation and mitigating some liability concerns. The small amount of time spent using and managing the camera systems is a major advantage that makes them effective for daily use. New technological advantages across the board, from cameras to online tracking systems, are helping police departments engage in more effective community policing. NC4 Street Smart helps police departments quickly document incidents through in-cruiser computers, sharing valuable information as it happens, for improved safety.
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