Still Waiting For Statewide Police Body Cam Policy – [Video]
Rochester, MN (KROC-AM News) - Among the issues yet to be resolved by state lawmakers in the final days of the 2016 legislative session is a statewide policy covering the use of police body cameras.
Law enforcement agencies and police watchdog groups have been waiting for the Minnesota Legislature to pass legislation that provides law enforcement with guidelines for when and where to use the video recording devices, and when the recordings should be made public. Law enforcement officials have generally pushed to keep the data private in most cases, while the citizen’s groups contend the recordings will help hold law enforcement officers accountable for their actions and want to have timely access to nearly all of the video produced by the thousands of cameras that are being deployed throughout the state.
Rochester Police Chief Roger Peterson says he simply wants the issue settled. He says the Rochester Police Department will deal with whatever public policy decision is made, and what is important is that policies are established concerning public access and storage of the body camera recordings (Chief Peterson discusses the issue on the YouTube video at the top of this post).
The Rochester Police Department began using the body cameras during last fall. To date, the most widely viewed publicly released video from the program involved the rescue of a motorist from a burning vehicle that led to commendations for the officers involved in the incident.
Chief Peterson is a regular guest on Rochester's Good Morning with Rich Peterson and Kim David on KROC-AM.