COP CAMS: Minneapolis votes to outfit police with cameras - New York News

COP CAMS: Minneapolis votes to outfit police with cameras

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MINNEAPOLIS (KMSP) -

The first police department in Minnesota traded their dash cameras for devices the officers themselves would wear, and police in Minneapolis will soon give those body cameras a try.

On Wednesday night, the Minneapolis City Council gave the green light to a $1.3 billion budget that will get the cameras rolling.

"This technology promises to revolutionize policing," Minneapolis City Councilman Gary Schiff told Fox 9 News.

The City Council voted unanimously to approve the mayor's budget for next year, which includes $400,000 to outfit two thirds of the police force with body cameras.

According to the council members, the cameras, which would be mounted on an officer's collar or glasses, should help cut down on complaints of misconduct and brutality, which cost taxpayers thousands every year.

"We see, in cities like Rialto, California, and 88 percent drop in complaints against officers who are wearing cameras and a 60 percent drop in use of force by officers who use cameras," Schiff said. "That means less opportunity that something could go wrong."

Until now, Burnsville police had been the only officers in the state to use the body cameras to capture what happens from their perspective. Minneapolis will be the largest department in the state to join them, and Duluth will begin using the cameras too by the end of the year.

Even so, Councilwoman Meg Tuthill cautions that the cameras themselves likely won't bring an end to complaints.

"Remember, it's not the end all," she said. "We've had videos brought into settlement conferences and the camera cuts off or someone gets out of camera range, so nothing's perfect and nothing is foolproof and we've got to remember that."

If the first phase goes well, the department will try to get body cameras for the final third of officers in 2015.

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