MINNEAPOLIS (KMSP) - The new Minneapolis police chief touts about how often his officers now use their body cameras since he took over the department in late July. But now, a city councilwoman is firing back, releasing a new report claiming officers are not quite following the new rules.
The final audit will be presented to the Minneapolis City Council on Tuesday morning, and it essentially dives deep into how officers are really following the chief’s new direction.
"Every camera is assigned to an officer, so there's a badge number, there's information that is automatically shown on the screen," explains Corey Schmidt with the Minneapolis Police.
"I go back to my app and there's the live video.”
Currently 593 officers who respond to 911 calls wear the body cameras. But a new audit suggests they may not be turning them on as often as they should.
"There's a whole different starting line here in terms of how much we need to improve and it's a lot further back than what I was hoping," said Councilwoman Linea Palmisano.
Palmisano chairs the Audit Committee for the Minneapolis City Council, and she ordered her colleagues to take a deep look into the practices of MPD's body camera program after it was revealed that no video existed of Justine Damond's death this summer.
"I think that while the numbers of footage have increased and the numbers of videos have increased, I think there is still a lot of reluctance in turning them on," she said.
Chief Medaria Arradondo held a last minute press conference to respond to the audit's results.
He claims there's nearly a 300 percent increase in the hours of video recorded since he took over.
"We are certainly at an increase in the number of videos, but I will caution as a city wide roll-out, we are only nine months into our body camera program," he said.
While he said body cameras are a great tool for modern day policing, Arradondo cautions that officers are still getting used to the new device like when tasers and squad cameras were introduced.
"I think it will help us in our jobs, and I think it will help as a tool to help transparency."
The chief said earlier he welcomes any suggestions from other city leaders on how to improve the body camera policy.