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BARAGA – The Keweenaw Bay Indian Community’s Tribal Police Department is implementing a new policy for the use of body worn and in-car camera systems.
Both camera systems will help improve the quality of public service expected of police officers as well as promote the perceived legitimacy and sense of procedural justice that communities expect of their police departments. Police departments that have already deployed the use of both in-car and body worn cameras have shown that the presence of cameras often improves the performance of officers as well as the conduct of the community members who are recorded.
The new camera systems will be used by officers during traffic stops, enforcement actions, citizen contacts, investigative contacts, domestic disputes, calls for service involving crimes against persons, priority responses, vehicle pursuits, arrests and transport of prisoners, regular calls which become argumentative in nature, circumstances involving the confiscation of evidence or contraband (where the recording could be useful in the prosecution of the suspect), and any other situations that an officer believes a recording is necessary. Non-evidentiary recordings will be saved for a period of 60 to 90 days before being permanently erased.
When officers or members of the public break the law, the camera systems create a public record of the incident that can be obtained, with permission, from the Tribal Prosecutor or Assistant Tribal Prosecutor.
Use of the new camera systems will go into effect once all patrol personnel have received proper training related to the use of the equipment and how to save recorded information to the system.