Report: Minneapolis police officers to start wearing body cameras


City officials are expected to announce Thursday that Minneapolis police officers will start wearing body cameras starting next year, KSTP-TV reports.

Sources in City Hall tell the station that the Minneapolis Police Department plans to have 500 officers wear the body cameras in 2014. Twenty-five officers will test out the body cameras immediately, KSTP reported.

However, FOX 9 reports that a police spokeswoman said the department has no plans to implement officer-worn cameras and does not even have a pilot program planned.

KSTP says the annual cost of the body cameras would be about $312,000, but sources say the city will save taxpayers money in the long run as footage captured on the devices will prove to be helpful in curbing police misconduct claims.

Police Chief Janee Harteau is reportedly behind the initiative, which has the support of city council members.

The Star Tribune says 53 lawsuits have been filed against the MPD in the past two years over claims of excessive force and brutality.

Over the past five years, KSTP says, the city of Minneapolis has paid out $8 million to settle police misconduct lawsuits.

In 2011, Burnsville Police Department became the first department in the state to use body cameras.

The use of body cameras on police officers is becoming more commonplace throughout the country.

The Huffington Post says the Los Angeles Police Department is currently lobbying for the use of body cameras, and the New York Daily News says a judge allowed a one-year pilot program for the use of police body cameras in five New York City precincts.

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