Updated: 10/17/2013 7:40 AM KSTP.com By: Jay Kolls
Sources confirm Minneapolis Police officers will wear body cameras starting in 2014. The idea will be laid out at a city hall news conference Thursday.
Sources tell 5 EYEWITNESS NEWS the plan is to have 500 officers wearing the body cameras next year but to start with a test group of 25 officers immediately.
The yearly cost would be about $312,000 to have mini-cameras on patrol officers working the streets.
City leaders and police department officials will explain how this policy will help protect officers, the public and save taxpayers' money in the long run.
We checked and found the city has settled police misconduct lawsuits for $8 million over the past five years. Police officials think this number will go down with the use of body cams and that it will also protect their officers from frivolous complaints of bad behavior.
Sources say Police Chief Janee' Harteau started this initiative and has gained support from city council members who will also be present at Thursday's news conference. Other cities, including Burnsville, have started using body cameras, and most departments say they have been very successful.
No one was available to comment on camera, but sources tell us there will be little, if any, opposition to the body cam idea. Policy makers, they say, will point out the fact the use of body cams already has the support of the ACLU, and they do not expect any legal challenges based on privacy concerns for the general public.