A full picture of the MPD body camera program has yet to develop in its one month of testing. However, Deputy Chief Travis Glampe shared with the Police Conduct Oversight Commission some insights learned so far into challenges of using body cameras (KARE 11.com). Technical issues present the most common challenge, such as uploading the video to the server. Camera placement on the officer presents a challenge, more commonly with chest mounted than eyeglass cameras. For example, a chest mounted camera can be angled so that footage only captures from the chest down. The department also has yet to test the cameras during the truly frigid moments of a Minnesota winter.
Even with its challenges, there has been success. For example, footage from the body camera captured an officer consulting the Standard Operating Procedure (MPD Body Camera Standard Operating Procedure) to clarify on when he should turn off his body camera. Recordings appear to be clear and capture quality audio, as seen in these videos released to the public (video 1, video 2, video 3).
Along with the practical side of the cameras, the MPD presented a preliminary draft of the Standard Operating Procedure at the PCOC meeting (PCOC meeting agenda). It is not the final version, and more work needs to be done on the policy before the final version is put in place. Commissioners raised the issue of officer discretion in turning the camera on and off (MPR.com). The current Standard Operating Procedure provides wide discretion, but officers in the pilot program have been advised to turn it on as soon as they receive a call. The PCOC wanted more clarification on this issue and whether it would be adjusted before the final draft was created. Commissioners also had privacy concerns. Deputy Chief Glampe told the PCOC that there were protocols to protect victims of domestic abuse and sexual assault. Deputy Chief Glampe will provide a status update to the PCOC at a later date.
Intake Investigator and Special Projects – Office of Police Conduct Review