A public comment period opens Tuesday, Dec. 3, on a proposed Edina Police Department policy governing use of body-worn cameras.
With the advancement of digital recording devices, the public has begun to expect the interactions of law enforcement and the public to be recorded and available for review. According to Police Chief David Nelson, the Edina Police Department has used in-squad recording devices for over a decade to be transparent and show accountability of its officers. With changes in public perception, he says body-worn cameras are the next step to increase transparency and accountability. The Edina Police Department has the support of the City Prosecutor and the Hennepin County Attorney’s Office in implementing the technology.
In Minnesota, a local law enforcement agency must provide an opportunity for public comment before it purchases or implements a portable recording system. Residents may view the draft policy and share feedback online at BetterTogetherEdina.org Dec. 3-20. They may also provide feedback at the Dec. 17 City Council meeting.
Staff will synthesize public feedback and update the policy in January that will ultimately be approved by City Manager Scott Neal. In February, the technical specifications for the equipment will be finalized and the purchasing process will begin. The Edina City Council will eventually be asked to approve the purchase of the system. The cameras should be operational by the end of 2020.
For more information or to review the draft policy for body-worn cameras, visit BetterTogetherEdina.org.