Body-worn cameras launched for Mankato law enforcement

Monday morning those at Mankato Public Safety added a new tool to their belts, the body worn camera.
Published: Oct. 17, 2022 at 10:29 AM CDT|Updated: Oct. 17, 2022 at 5:18 PM CDT
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MANKATO, Minn. (KEYC) - Mankato Public Safety has launched its body-worn cameras for certain personnel.

The department says that starting today, all uniformed officers on patrol will be equipped with the cameras.

“But it can’t explain to you or anybody else what I’m feeling. It can’t explain to you or anybody else everything that I’m seeing its not gonna see behind me its not gonna have the different points of view that I see with my own eyes out of the peripheral but its the best picture possible with today’s technology,” said Deputy Director Matt DuRose.

Monday morning those at Mankato Public Safety added a new tool to their belts, the body worn camera. Only uniformed officers on patrol division will always have them on; those undercover will not, since it may compromise the operation. In the works for the last few years, Deputy Director Matt DuRose says the camera might be “on” their body, but not activated-- recording.

“We don’t want to gather symptoms of people’s mental health or chemical dependency substance abuse we don’t want to just gather symptoms, right? We want evidence. If there’s evidence of a crime, or an investigation taking place we certainly do but we also want to respect the privacy of citizens if we’re in somebody’s home, if we’re speaking with them again, depending on the information and evidences that we’re collecting we may need to have it recording just to make sure we’re capturing that evidence. There is certainly some discretion based upon what we’re gathering but being mindful especially in their homes.”

This technology really tries to give a good picture of what the officer is experiencing and what they’re seeing. Still, they’ve come a long way from pen, paper, and micro tape-recorders.

“Now we can listen to it right there at our computer based upon what we’re seeing on the camera itself so we’ve come along way. So we’ll only continue to improve on that technology and add when we absolutely need to and get the support to do that.”

The body-worn camera policy was created using public feedback according to Public Safety.

Officers have been trained over the course of the last few weeks to use the new system.