City Council approves $4 million police body camera contract

The Minneapolis City Council approved a five-year, $4 million contract with Taser International on Friday to outfit Minneapolis police officers with body cameras.

The MPD plans to roll out the body camera program in May, starting with police officers in the 1st Precinct (downtown). The entire department is expected to have the body cameras by late fall.

The contract approved by the Council will allow the MPD to purchase 587 body cameras, docking stations and storage.

The Council also approved a motion by Council members Blong Yang (Ward 5), Cam Gordon (Ward 2) and Linea Palmisano (Ward 13) directing MPD leaders to return to the Council on March 2 with its plan for engaging the community in developing the proposed policy for the body cameras. The deadline for a final proposed policy is April 6.

The Office of the City Clerk and the Communications Department have also been tasked with developing a plan for helping the public access body camera data, including a budget recommendation for managing and responding to data requests.

Palmisano said creating a transparent body camera program will be a “labor intensive” process. The MPD has seen a huge influx in data practices requests in recent years.