Hidden cost of police body cameras: Storing all that video gets pricey


As more police departments equip their officers with body cameras, they'll also need to outfit their budgets with a new item: the cost of storing all the video footage.

Duluth Police Chief Gordon Ramsey tells the Associated Press the cost of data storage is "enormous."

Ramsey says Duluth's 110 police cameras generate 8,000 to 10,000 videos per month, all of which are stored for at least 30 days, often longer.

He tells the AP Duluth bought 84 cameras from Taser International for less than $5,000 but a three-year contract for data storage costs about $78,000.

In its analysis, the Associated Press analyzed invoices and contracts from around the country. Managing the data will cost some departments millions, perhaps forcing some police chiefs into difficult financial choices about whether to pay for officers or for video storage.

The St. Cloud Times says Becker's police chief hopes to have officers wearing cameras by the end of this year. They would join a growing list of Minnesota cities with camera-equipped cops. Just this week, St. Paul and Hastings approved cameras.

Supporters of their use say the video footage holds officers and citizens alike more accountable for their actions, reducing excessive force and groundless accusations.

Minneapolis and Rochester are among several other Minnesota departments using cameras, at least on a trial basis.

One of the issues still being negotiated is who should have access to the police videos.

Civil liberties groups argue the footage should be available to the public, but a bill introduced at the state Capitol last week would limit access to law enforcement personnel and the people who appear in the videos.

Next Up

moose minnesota usfws - flickr

MN homeowner mistakes large tent for dead moose

They spotted two people on a security camera dragging the "moose" across a driveway.

Flickr - minneapolis police officer close-up belt camera - Tony Webster

What happens if Mpls. public safety question passes? City memo provides answers

The memo was sent to the mayor and council members Tuesday morning.


COVID-19 hits Minnesota Wild coaching staff

The Wild will be shorthanded for Tuesday night's game in Vancouver.

Anthony Edwards

Ant takes alpha role after bad loss: 'We need to lock the f*** in'

The Timberwolves' rising star was not happy after Monday's loss to the Pelicans.

parker eisinger

Lakeville football player diagnosed with cancer week before playoffs

The tenth-grader was diagnosed with a form of cancer most commonly found in people aged 65 and older.

University of Minnesota peeping tom suspect

Someone keeps trying to film showering women at U of M

The university has received three reports in the past two weeks.

john Fluevog shoes 1

John Fluevog Shoes closes its Uptown Minneapolis store

The brand could return to the Twin Cities one day.

sidecar drink

Sidecar — Town Hall's new cocktail lounge — is officially open in Minneapolis

It's the fifth Town Hall location, but the first to focus on cocktails.

Screen Shot 2019-07-18 at 9.10.30 AM

Here's where DFLers stand on Minneapolis' public safety ballot question

The question would create a Department of Public Safety and remove some requirements.

Arthur Kollie

Man pleads guilty to brutal murder of 14-year-old girl in Fargo

The 14-year-old girl was the victim of a random attack outside a Fargo strip mall.

Minneapolis Mayoral Candidates 2021 - jacob frey sheila nezhad kate knuth

Here's who has endorsed the frontrunners for Minneapolis mayor

Politicians and community groups are voicing their opinions.