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Police wearing body cameras.

Body-worn cameras join Police force

The use of body-worn cameras has become more prevalent among law enforcement entities throughout the nation. Bloomington Police started deploying the cameras department-wide in March after field-testing last year. A $199,500 grant covered a portion of the overall cost of the 129 body-worn cameras that the City purchased.

Now, the City’s sworn officers, community service officers and animal control coordinator wear the cameras. The devices are on during calls for service and contacts with residents, while in the performance of official duties. Detectives wear and activate the cameras during search warrants and preplanned apprehension details.

“Casual contacts and community engagement activities will not be recorded. Also certain calls such as medicals will not be recorded unless there is reason to believe the recording would have evidentiary value,” Commander of Special Operations Michael Utecht said.

Each camera is worn on the front of the uniform and set up to record only what the human eye can see. No low-light enhancement or zooming capabilities are available.

“The body-worn cameras work in tandem with squad car cameras to capture a fuller and more complete version of the interactions that police officers and staff have with the public. The body and squad camera program provides a higher level of transparency with the public. The recorded video is also very important in criminal court proceedings as well as in identifying possible training opportunities,” Chief Jeff Potts said.

For more information, visit blm.mn/bodycam or call 952-563-4900.