NEW BRIGHTON -- As calls for more police transparency increase, a large majority of Minnesota police chiefs support the use of body cameras.
A recent survey by the Minnesota Police Chiefs Association shows support for the cameras by more than 80% of those chiefs who responded.
The MCPA says there are now more than 100 municipal police departments that use them which is nearly double the number since the last survey five years ago.
Out of 214 respondents, 95 chiefs said they don't have body-worn cameras in their departments. Of those who don't, 65% list the lack of funding as the reason. Costs are particularly difficult for smaller agencies.
The MCPA says beyond the infrastructure costs and data storage, the high price of state-mandated comprehensive audits prevented municipalities from investing in the technology or discontinuing it.
The state legislature considered a public safety provision to include $1-million annually for local agencies to support the use of cameras, but it was left out of the final public safety bill. The bill did include state funding to equip state law enforcement agencies with the technology.
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