Minneapolis, St. Paul and Leech Lake Band get federal grants for police body cameras

Three Minnesota law enforcement departments will get money from the U.S. Justice Department to help buy body-worn cameras for police officers.

The federal awards, announced this week [PDF], include:

  • Leech Lake Band of Ojibwe, $41,967
  • Minneapolis, $600,000
  • St. Paul, $600,000

In announcing the grants, the DoJ said it “recognizes body-worn cameras as a law enforcement strategy aimed at improving public safety, reducing crime, and improving public trust between police and the citizens they serve.”

Questions about whether or how the video from the cameras will be made public could not be resolved by the Legislature last session.

In Minneapolis, Mayor Betsy Hodges and Police Chief Janeé Harteau said they plan to equip all officers with the cameras by early 2016.

Said Hodges: “Implementing a body camera program will enhance transparency and accountability, and in other cities it has decreased the use of force and complaints of excessive force. I thank the Obama administration for sharing the cost of this program with taxpayers, and I thank Chief Harteau, the department, and the community for working to help make this program a reality.”

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