Residents had until Feb. 21 to share their input on the Eden Prairie Police Department’s body-worn camera policy.
Police will share those comments as part of its presentation of the policy to the Eden Prairie City Council on Tuesday, March 2. According to the city, feedback resulted in one response regarding the department’s use of body-worn cameras when working with other law enforcement agencies. The council needs to sign off on the purchase of cameras. Police are eyeing buying body-worn cameras for all its sworn officers. (A longer article with details regarding the Eden Prairie Police Department’s body-worn camera program can be found here.)
As part of the comment period, Brad Canham, the Eden Prairie Local News editor, asked Police Lt. Christopher Wood three questions on the policy. The following are his answers.
EPLN: Will individual incidents in the police incident logs reflect an associated full/partial body-worn camera record?
Wood: A notation will be made in the incident information or report if there was body camera footage recorded.
EPLN: Will a record of the total percentage of incidents with full/partial/none body-worn camera recordings be maintained as a public record?
Wood: We are required to maintain the below information, which is public data.
(According to) the state statute:
A law enforcement agency that uses a portable recording system must maintain the following information, which is public data:
(1) The total number of recording devices owned or maintained by the agency;
(2) A daily record of the total number of recording devices actually deployed and used by officers and, if applicable, the precincts in which they were used;
(3) The policies and procedures for (the) use of portable recording systems required by section 626.8473;
(4) The total amount of recorded audio and video data collected by the portable recording system and maintained by the agency, the agency’s retention schedule for the data, and the agency’s procedures for destruction of the data.
We should be able to pull the percentage upon request. (Click here to read the body-worn camera state statute.)
EPLN: Who is responsible for the department goals and success measures associated with instituting body-worn cameras? How are those goals measured? And, what measure indicates the goals have not been achieved?
Wood: Our goal is to outfit each officer with a body camera and have them used according to policy and state statute.
I am responsible for implementing the program, purchasing the cameras, and providing the training. Each supervisor will be responsible for making sure policy and procedure are followed.
We will also be required to conduct a biennial audit of the program by an independent agency that will report its results to the City Council.
(Editor’s Note: OnFeb.27, 2021 the story was updated with the March 2 City Council meeting date and the one public response the police department received regarding use of body-worn cameras.)