June 20, 2016
Dear Law Enforcement Teamster,
As you may know, the State Legislature passed and Governor Dayton signed a bill designed to standardize the use of body-worn video camera technology for local law enforcement, or ‘body cameras,’ and to regulate the data captured by the camera technology. The provisions, which take effect on August 1, 2016, will be included in the Minnesota Government Data Practice Act at Section 13.825. The Teamsters Union and Local 320 have been working on both a national and state-wide response to this issue and we will continue to do so. We pledge to work with your employer on the implementation, use, and data collection both in accordance with the statute and the rights you have as a Peace Officer.
The following points are the most important for you to be aware of:
- Allows the public to see body-camera footage only if an officer in it causes someone substantial bodily harm.
- Allows anyone in a non-public video to watch it and choose to make it public, after active investigations are done, and after anyone in the video who doesn’t want to be seen - other than a police officer - gets an option to blur their image.
- Requires any department using body cameras to have a written, posted policy conforming to state law, and allow the public a chance to comment before the policy is implemented.
- A local law enforcement agency must provide an opportunity for public comment before it purchases or implements a portable recording system. At a minimum, the agency must accept public comments submitted electronically or by mail, and the governing body with jurisdiction over the budget of the law enforcement agency must provide an opportunity for public comment at a regularly-scheduled meeting.
- While on duty, a peace officer may only use a portable recording system issued and maintained by the officer’s agency in documenting the officer’s activities.
TEAMSTERS LOCAL 320