Public input is one of the important key factors in establishing a Body Worn Camera Program

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The Virginia Police Department has had a four camera Body Worn Camera (BWC) Test Project that began in 2015.
In 2018, the Virginia Police Department (VPD) will request a budget allocation to purchase and fully implement a BWC program. The cost to acquire the body worn cameras is $26,400 for 22 officers. The BWC system will work in conjunction with the mobile cameras in our squad cars and the data collected will be stored on an existing server with an evidence data management system provided by the camera company. Data is classified, audited, stored, and filed digitally as evidence. These digital files are uploaded wirelessly and accessed over a secured web based system which can be utilized by prosecutors and court personnel.

The 2016 Minnesota Legislative Session has defined and provided guidelines for law enforcement agencies who are establishing a Body Worn Camera program and how to develop a policy. Public input is one of the important key factors in this process. The law requires that public comment be accepted by mail, email and that elected bodies allow for public comment at one of their meetings.

To have a successful BWC Program, police agencies have to have support from the community and from the officers who wear the cameras. The benefits and challenges need to be discussed and all input is welcome. BWC are a tool for collecting and documenting evidence that will help ensure public safety.

The VPD has drafted a policy proposal regarding Body Warn Cameras. We are actively seeking feedback, comment and input regarding the proposed policy. A copy of this policy is available on the City's website at www.virginiamn.us, by calling the Police Department at (218) 748-7510 or in person at City Hall, 327 1st Street South, Virginia MN, 55792. 

Surveys will be accepted until July 31, 2017. 

Sincerely,

Chief Mattson
Virginia Police Department

 
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