Few Minnesota departments adopt body camera guidelines

December 29, 2021 GMT

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Most Minnesota law enforcement agencies have chosen not to implement guidelines mandating officers with a history of misconduct wear body cameras, a Minneapolis Star Tribune analysis has found.

The League of Minnesota Cities two years ago created a model policy requiring problem officers wear cameras. But the Star Tribune found that only 10 of the 108 agencies with public body camera policies have implemented the policy.

The agencies have adopted the guidelines include Fairmont, Faribault, Maplewood, St. Paul Park and White Bear Lake police and the Anoka, Olmsted and Rice county sheriff’s offices.

The state’s largest police departments in Minneapolis and St. Paul have not adopted the policy. The state Department of Natural Resources also hasn’t adopted it for its conservation officers.

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Rachel Carlson, loss control manager for the League of Minnesota Cities, said the policy isn’t binding but was meant to offer guidance for rural police chiefs who couldn’t afford body cameras for all their officers. But she said that as the cameras become more common price considerations have become a “moot point.”

“I could speculate that some agencies didn’t feel as though they needed (to adopt the policy), maybe they didn’t have enough (problem) officers, maybe they felt that their oversight was enough.”