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Squad car cameras are still important and complement the use of body cameras. Squad car cameras can provide an overall view of a situation compared to the view of a body camera and could possibly capture events that a body camera could not. The use of both platforms increases the likelihood that incidents are recorded and provide the best documentation of the situation.
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A body camera is a small, battery-powered camera worn by police officers on their uniform that records both video and audio.
Body cameras will be worn on the upper torso of the officer’s uniform. Each camera comes with three mounting options. The style of uniform worn by the officer will dictate which mounting option is used and how it is placed.
Body cameras are another tool for the City of Lakeville Police Department’s promotion of an honest, transparent and inclusive government. Benefits include increased transparency, improved behaviors, faster resolution of complaints, providing evidence, and improving communication and skills training for officers.
A federal grant will assist in operational costs for the first three years of the program. The program will cost $74,000 annually.
Peace officers that have a legitimate, law enforcement-related reason can view the video. If there is a legitimate, specified law enforcement need, LPD can share body camera video data with another law enforcement agency with a request made in writing.
Generally, most body camera video data is “nonpublic” data. The video data is presumptively private and can only be accessible to a person that is on the video. If the video is part of an active criminal investigation, the data is all confidential, even to the person on the video. If the video contains several people, permission needs to be granted by all involved people before the data is released. If an involved person does not consent to the release, they can be “redacted” from the video by having their face blurred and their voice distorted.
Any individual or entity whose image or voice is on the video is considered a data subject.
Redaction is the process of concealing the identity of people on the video by blurring their faces and distorting their voices.
Yes, per Minnesota statute (13.82, subd. 15), a law enforcement agency can release nonpublic, private or confidential video if it will aid in the law enforcement process, promote public safety or dispel widespread rumor or unrest.
Per Minnesota statute (13.825, subd. 2(5)(b) a law enforcement agency may redact or withhold access to portions of data that are public when the data is “clearly offensive to common sensibilities.”
Officers shall activate their body cameras when responding to all calls for service and during all law enforcement-related encounters and activities, including but not limited to pursuits, investigative stops of motorists and pedestrians, arrests, searches, suspect interviews and interrogations, and during any police/citizen contacts that becomes adversarial. However, officers need not activate their cameras when it would be unsafe, impossible, or impractical to do so, but such instances of not recording when otherwise required must be thoroughly documented.
When officers determine that there is not a law enforcement need for recording, they may deactivate their body cameras.
Officers have no affirmative duty to inform people that a body camera is being operated or that they are being recorded. Officers may elect to notify people they encounter that a body camera is being operated if it is felt that doing so may deescalate an encounter.
The request should be considered while taking into account dignity of the subject being recorded, legitimate law enforcement need and privacy.
Yes, locker rooms, dressing rooms or restrooms unless a criminal offense has occurred in these areas. Officers will attempt to take precautions to protect the dignity and privacy of all persons.
The data is very safe and is subject to very strict rules and regulations set forth by the FBI. The data is encrypted and stored off-site from LPD.
The Minnesota Office of the Revisor of Statutes: 13.825 Portable Recording Systems
No, the body camera system is specifically designed to prevent the user from altering or deleting recordings.
Per Minnesota Statute 13.825 all portable recording system data must be maintained for at least 90 days, and active or inactive criminal investigative data must be maintained for at least one year. The General Records Retention Schedule for Minnesota Cities includes additional minimum retention periods, like seven years for Use of Force.
Officers are expected to activate their body cameras if it is safe and practical to do so. However, it is recognized that officers must also attend to other primary duties and the safety of all concerned, sometimes in circumstances that are tense, uncertain, and rapidly evolving. Any time an officer fails to activate their recorder, they will need to articulate the reason why. An officer that fails to activate their body camera without a justified reason may face discipline.
Access to body camera data shall be limited to the employee who captured the video, supervisory personnel and command level personnel, along with others deemed by the chief of police to have “need to know” or “need to access,” such as case investigators and Records Unit personnel. In addition: body camera video shall be available to approved personnel within the offices of the Lakeville City Attorney and Dakota County Attorney’s Office. Prosecutors or their designee may authorize protected access to specific cases with body camera video.
Yes. Officers will use the video to further assist in preparing a police report, giving a statement, or providing testimony in court.
Yes, outside of criminal investigative data, body camera video is private data, which means the subject of the data may view the recording. If the subject requests a copy of the data, the law enforcement agency must redact the data on other individuals who do not consent to its release. The identity of an undercover law enforcement officer must also be redacted for their protection. Minn. Stat. § 13.825, subd. 4.
Yes. When an LPD officer activates their body camera, it will capture the previous 30 seconds of video, the audio may or may not be buffered.
Yes. We are working with the school districts on educating and receiving input with regards to this policy. A uniformed officer may have their body camera activated if they respond to an incident at a school. Video may be released to: shared with other law enforcement for legitimate purposes with a written request, prosecution and courts and any person or agency, if the agency determines that the access will aid the law enforcement process, promote public safety or dispel widespread rumor or unrest.
All uniformed members of the police department are assigned a body camera.
Detectives will utilize body cameras.
The body camera policy and records retention schedule are posted on our website. The records retention schedule can also be found on the Municipal Clerks and Finance Officers Association of Minnesota's website (PDF).
The camera has a 12-hour battery life and recording options from 420p standard definition to 1080p high definition. Data is stored on the camera during the officer’s shift. The video is uploaded, and the camera’s battery is charged when the camera is “docked” at LPD at the end of the officer’s shift.