Skip to main content

'Symbol of trust': Ramsey Co. sheriff rolls out body cams

It's the third largest Minnesota law enforcement agency to do so.

The Ramsey County Sheriff's Department is going all in on body cameras.

On Friday, Sheriff Bob Fletcher officially rolled out the devices, calling them a "symbol of trust."

During a press conference, Fletcher said the new policy is the result of "six months of work," which included meeting with and getting the support of community members in implementing the new program.

He acknowledged the need for increased transparency and better communication between law enforcement and citizens. 

"It's no secret that there are those in our community that aren't sure that they can trust law enforcement," he said, adding that introducing body cams "helps make that easier."

He also alluded to the role they'll play in documenting police confrontations, referring to the recent police shooting of Ronald Davis in St. Paul as a "classic example" of how cameras were able to "quickly resolve what the facts were."

In that case, the body cam footage shows Davis attacking the officer — who then appears to fire in self-defense, despite allegations that he had murdered Davis.

But Fletcher made clear that the devices won't just be used in instances of deadly force.

"Day in, day out, this is about how we relate with others in the community," he said, describing the cameras as a tool to improve communication and hold both authorities and citizens accountable.

Fletcher also said that deputies will be required to activate the devices at the time they receive a call, or if they "come upon something... that needs action."

However, activation isn't required in "incidental contact with citizens."

If you're curious about how the department's body cam program works, and what it requires deputies to do, you can read the full policy right here

Next Up

plow, snowplow, snow

Plowable snow possible this weekend in Minnesota

Up to half a foot of snow could fall within the heaviest band.

Best Buy - jjbers, Flickr

Police reveal new details about 'coordinated' Best Buy thefts

A large group stole thousands of dollars in merchandise from three Twin Cities Best Buy stores.

Seven Points exterior - 2

New tenant revealed for former Libertine spot in Uptown

The space will combine playful art offerings with a restaurant.

white Christmas

What are Minnesota's chances of a white Christmas this year?

The Twin Cities averages a white Christmas about 3 out of every 4 years.

ilhan omar press conference voicemail screengrab 11.30.21

'You will not live much longer b***': Rep. Omar shares threatening voicemail

Omar's office received the call hours after Rep. Boebert posted her video about the MN congresswoman.

Screen Shot 2021-12-01 at 11.24.09 AM

ESPN's 'Booger' makes fun of Wild fans' record cup snake

He's the same guy who thought the "Minneapolis Miracle" was bad for the Vikings.

brian ingram

Woodfired Cantina closes at Keg and Case in St. Paul

Restaurateur Brian Ingram is focusing on growing his other concepts.

giant bear

Video: 'THE fattest bear we have ever seen' spotted on MN trail camera

"This might be THE fattest bear we have ever seen in our area," researchers said.

u.s. attorney

Guilty plea from man who stockpiled guns, equipment to make bombs, drugs

Prosecutors say he had multiple guns, items to make weapons and pipe bombs, and lab equipment to make drugs.

polaris Ranger XP Kinetic

Here is Polaris' new electric Ranger off-road vehicle

The Minnesota-based company unveiled the electric UTV on Wednesday.


police lights

Ramsey Co. sheriff issues warning to residents amid rise in carjackings

It's an issue that's been plaguing the entire metro area.

Ramsey County Attorney John Choi

Ramsey Co. Attorney quits Trump's law enforcement commission

John Choi reportedly expressed concern over a "predetermined agenda."

Bob Fletcher

Ramsey County sheriff, county manager quarrel over civil unrest funding

Sheriff Bob Fletcher has been in a dispute with the county manager over the reimbursement.

Flickr - June 4 2021 protestors uptown Winston Smith shooting - Chad Davis

Ramsey Co. deputies on US Marshals task force will now use body cameras

The change to policy comes amid increased scrutiny following the law enforcement shooting of Winston Smith.

Lt. Kent M. Vnuk

Hennepin Co. sheriff's lieutenant mourned after unexpected death

"Lt. Kent Vnuk was a colleague, leader, and most importantly a friend to so many."