Updated: 07/03/2014 10:33 PM
Created: 07/03/2014 3:04 PM WDIO.com
Duluth Police officers are now able to record any interactions they have with the public. That's because each one of them has been assigned a body camera. On Thursday, those cameras became a standard part of the officers' uniforms.
"We've been testing them for about a month and a half. I know the officers are a little apprehensive at first. But then the officers who have worn them already, appreciate the fact they have the video to use if they need it," explained Sgt. Jayme Carlson.
The camera is a small black square that hooks onto the shirt-front of the uniform. It doesn't roll constantly. Officers have been trained to hit record before any interaction with people, like traffic stops and interviews.
Carlton told the media that the video is uploaded at the end of each shift, but the department will not be randomly viewing it. "It's for prosecution purposes, or if there's a complaint against an officer. Then we can look at the video."
He said that during the testing phase, one person dropped his or her complaint about the officer, because there was video evidence of the encounter.
The goal is also to improve officer safety. "Studies show people are less aggressive towards officers if they know they're on camera," Carlson said.
Plus, with video evidence, sometimes defendants are more likely to accept a plea deal. "It is going to help us cut down on time in court, for officers and prosecutors, and save time on investigations and complaints against officers."
Each camera costs about $300, and the department purchased almost 100 of them.
Boundary Waters Care Center Investigated For Neglect
The Minnesota Department of Health said a nurse at the Boundary Waters Care Center neglected to provide proper care to a resident who later died. An investigative report was substantiated and the care center said the nurse was suspended and subsequently terminated.
Trade Commission Imposes Duties on Foreign Steel
A victory for the domestic steel industry on Friday, when the International Trade Commission imposed duties on foreign steel from six countries.
Community, Crew Celebrates USS Duluth Anchor Memorial
After 40 years of service, crew members, commanders and community members came together to honor USS Duluth at the unveiling of a memorial for its anchor Friday.
Tradition Runs Deep at Lakehead Harvest Show in Esko
You might call it a living museum. The Lakehead Harvest Show is 53 years running and every year you'll find Nick Blotti with his 1904 Minneapolis steam tractor.
World War II Veteran, Louis Alvar, Honored
A special moment for the family of a World War II veteran, who passed away three decades ago. A flag for Louis Alvar was raised and flown in a short ceremony with the honor guard Friday morning.