We are testing Axon body cameras. Axon is formerly known as Taser International. The body cameras are smaller than a cell phone and will be affixed to the officer’s upper chest.
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This is a one-year trial period, which is free of charge.
Peace officers that have a legitimate, law enforcement-related reason can view the video. If there is a legitimate, specified law enforcement need, CPD can share BWC video data with another law enforcement agency.
Generally, most BWC 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.
When a peace officer discharges a firearm in the course of duty, except during training and for the purposes of killing animals.
When use of force by a peace officer results in substantial bodily harm.
When the data subject (person on the video) requests that the video be released to the public. If the video contains people that do not consent to the release or if it contains an undercover police officer, those individuals will be redacted by having their face blurred and voice distorted.
If a peace officer is disciplined, the related BWC video data is part of the personnel data, which is public.
If made public by a court order.
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.
No. The Minnesota Government Data Practices Act limits disclosure of information about certain individuals:
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 will record any police-citizen encounter if there is reason to believe the recording will have evidentiary value. Officers will use their cameras to take recorded statements from victims, witnesses, and suspects. Officers will record any transports and transfers of people. Officers have discretion to record general citizen contacts.
When officers determine that there is not a law enforcement need for recording, they will deactivate their body cameras. In medical emergencies where criminal activity is not suspected, cameras will not be activated.
No, but if someone asks if they are being recorded, officers will tell them if it is safe and practical.
It will depend on the situation. If there is not a law enforcement need or if the situation is not adversarial, an officer will have discretion to turn off the camera or keep it on.
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 CPD.
The minimum retention period for video is 90 days but some data will be kept longer. Video data will be retained for a period of six years if the video contains evidence, a use of force, an adversarial encounter, or seizure of property.
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.
Yes. Officers will use the video to further assist in preparing a police report, giving a statement, or providing testimony in court.
Officers have the option to view video prior to providing a statement.
Yes. When a CPD Officer activates their body camera, it will capture the previous 30 seconds of video, but not audio.
No. However, a uniformed CPD Officer may have their body camera activated if they respond to an incident at a school.
As part of the trial, CPD has 20 body cameras.
All 15 uniformed patrol officers are assigned a body camera. Spare body cameras will be checked out by officers and detectives on an as-needed basis.
Detectives will have the option to utilize body cameras if they determine that the body camera would be beneficial to their investigation.
The body camera policy and records retention schedule are posted on CPD’s website.
All the data is owned by CPD. None of it is accessible or viewable by staff at Axon. At the end of the trial, all data would be transferred to CPD.
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 CPD at the end of the officer’s shift.