Body Worn Camera Program
- What is a body camera?
A body camera is a small, battery-powered camera worn by police officers on their uniform that records both video and audio.
- Where will the body cameras be placed on the officer’s uniform?
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.
- Why is the Lakeville Police Department (LPD) purchasing body cameras?
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.
- How much does this program cost the City of Lakeville?
A federal grant will assist in operational costs for the first three years of the program. The program will cost $74,000 annually.
- Will LPD continue its use of in-car cameras?
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.
- Who can view the body camera video?
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.
- Who is considered a data subject?
Any individual or entity whose image or voice is on the video is considered a data subject.
- What is redaction?
Redaction is the process of concealing the identity of people on the video by blurring their faces and distorting their voices.
- When is body camera video data public?
- 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 body camera video data is part of the personnel data
- If made public by a court order
- Does the police department have discretion to make some video public?
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.