St. Cloud Police Planning to Implement Body Cameras in 2021
ST. CLOUD -- St. Cloud's police officers could start wearing body cameras next year. Police Chief Blair Anderson says they've been discussing it for years, and knew the day would come eventually, but they wanted to be deliberate about it before making the investment.
I know of some agencies that implemented a program only to shut it down because some things weren't in place. We wanted to make sure the infrastructure was in place, our policy, and that we are meeting all statutory requirements. This is something that's been in the works for two or three years.
Anderson says there may be times when other officers will also have the cameras on them.
For example, you've got a plain clothes detective, we're still kicking around whether we're going to require them to wear a body camera all the time. There are certain instances when they would need to, but on a daily basis, as they are investigating their cases, we don't see a need right now.
Right now there are dash cams in the squad cars and the tasers the officers use also have cameras. Anderson says the taser cams will be phased out when the body cams are implemented.
The St. Cloud City Council is expected to hold a public hearing on the topic on December 21st. The plan includes entering into a five-year contract agreement with the company Axon, which would include unlimited data storage. The total cost over the five years will be nearly $1.5 million. However, the new Axon contract which will replace an existing contract would only increase the city's budget by about $163,000 a year.