Messages From The Chief

from the chief

Chief’s Update on Body Worn Cameras

Hello Everyone,

We continue to roll out our Body Worn Camera (BWC) Program throughout our 5 police precincts. We’ve had a very smooth transition and officers and community members are becoming more familiar and more comfortable with the program as we progress.

At this point, 363 officers have been trained and equipped with BWCs in the city’s First, Third and Fourth police precincts. This week our patrol officers in the Second Precinct are being trained and equipped. We will conclude our rollout program in the Fifth Precinct in the third week of October. That adds up to 224 more devices to be issued in a little more than a month. Our trainers really have this important presentation for our cops down to a science!

Thus far, the equipment is in good working order and the quality of the video from the cameras has been phenomenal. The infrastructure that helps us store and retrieve the camera footage has held up extremely well and we haven’t had a single issue in that regard. The only real challenge we’ve had is making sure we can securely fasten the BWCs to officers’ uniforms. We have issued several different types of camera mounts as we continue to evaluate which fastener will be the most effective.

I’ve said we believe the cameras will be tools that will increase public trust and transparency, and they will aid in holding everyone accountable during police-public interactions. We’ve been told by prosecutors that body camera footage has been the determining factor in their ability to charge certain cases that may not have been prosecutable. Our officers tell us once they notify some people the cameras are on and rolling, they’ve had several experiences where de-escalation on the part of a subject has happened almost immediately.

If you’d like to learn more about the MPD’s Body Worn Camera Program, I encourage you to review the following links we’ve put together for you. We’ve also added a document that details how public access to the BWC videos is governed, as mandated, by the state legislature.

I look forward to continuing the community conversations that we’ve been having for two years now, including a couple of community update sessions the MPD plans to announce in the very near future. We also continue to gather feedback from our officers. The MPD will also continue to welcome all feedback and input, and I certainly look forward to catching up with you in a little more than a month’s time, when all MPD Patrol Officers will be wearing this valuable equipment.

Sincerely,

Chief Harteau

Legislature’s Body Camera Bill 

MPD Body Worn Cameras policy

Cover letter from from Mayor Hodges and Chief Harteau introducing the policy and following documents

Community concerns raised about body camera policy and explanation of the considerations that went into addressing those concerns

Backgrounder providing overview and history of the body camera program

Chief Proud to Release MPD 2.0: A New Policing Model”

Three years ago the concept of MPD 2.0,  a values driven department with our three core values,commitment, integrity and transparency and three core goals of public safety, public trust, and employee engagement & morale was introduced.  For the past three years as a department we have endured transformational and organization change with 2.0 as the foundation in achieving excellence through creating a culture of accountability.  Through this process we have become a national model, leading the way in community engagement, public trust & police legitimacy and employee professional development.  What we didn’t know at the time is the national conversation that would take place as a result of incidents of police shootings and use of force in other parts of the country.

Last December, President Obama signed an executive order establishing the Task Force on 21StCentury Policing.  The President charged the task force with identifying best practices and offering recommendations on how policing practices can promote effective crime prevention while building public trust.  The task force identified 6 pillars to best address; Building Public Trust & Legitimacy, Policy & Oversight, Technology & Social Media, Community Policing & Crime Reduction, Training & Education and Officer Wellness & Safety.   Now as many departments are looking at ways to implement strategies to address each of the action items listed under the six pillars, we are finding that MPD 2.0 is already addressing most of them. 

The implementation of these strategies would not have been possible without proud, professional, and dedicated officers and civilian staff.  Nor would we have such success without a supportive and dynamic public to serve and partner with.  I continue to be impressed and proud of the members of the Minneapolis Police Department and all that has been accomplished with our community partners. 

Stay Safe!

Chief Harteau and National Law Enforcement Leaders Tackling Gun Violence Increase, Body Cameras

Oct. 27, 2015 - I just returned from the Windy City, and what a whirlwind it was, shuttling between panels, press conferences, meetings, and forums. Attending the Major Cities Chiefs Association Fall Meeting, the International Association of Chiefs of Police Conference and the Police Executive Research Forums Annual Meeting really gives me the opportunity to share our best practices and learn about police initiatives in other cities that are experiencing similar successes and challenges. 

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Friday: The meeting between Major City Chiefs brought forward global and national agendas with discussions surrounding technology , violent extremism, and community outreach. I also found our roundtable discussions on violent crime and body cameras to be quite engaging, thoughtful and informative. Basically, we have the Chiefs of the 50 largest cities seated in a large square (pictures below), and it’s formatted to give Chiefs the chance to share, compare and perhaps most importantly, collaborate into a unified law enforcement voice. We heard from many federal leaders including FBI Director James Comey who addressed us a group on Saturday.

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Sunday was perhaps the busiest day during this combination of meetings. I was asked to be a panel member on a discussion titled “Bridging the Gap: Strengthening Trust Through Communication.” My fellow panelists in front of this jam-packed room (as you can see in the photos below) were the Chief from Gary, Indiana, a Deputy Chief from Fayetteville, North Carolina and Katherine Darke Schmitt from the Office of Justice Programs, U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ). This 2 hour discussion took an in depth look at how our improved communication outreach with residents has really paid dividends, particularly within the City of Minneapolis. The DOJ is now holding up our Department as a model for others to follow as we share our strategies on the valuable work we’re doing to connect with our communities.  

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As a current PERF board member and active chief on the issue I was also invited to speak about the MPD’s body camera pilot program at a Police Executive Research Forum Town Hall attended by hundreds of the nation’s “Top Cops.” This was a very valuable and timely discussion as we sorted through the dozens of variables surrounding body camera procedures and policies, which we are still formulating here in Minneapolis. I had the opportunity to hear what’s working and what’s not working, and not only did several Chiefs bring up some challenges they’ve experienced, they shared their solutions. We really have a great opportunity to learn from others as we build our own policy that works best for the City of Minneapolis.

Monday was a hectic day, scrambling through the sprawling McCormick Convention Center. I’d like to share a few things from this day with you. The first was a 2 hour discussion with our colleagues from the National Initiative for Building Community Trust and Justice (NI). You may recall, hundreds of cities applied for this program and 6 cities were selected by the US Attorney General. Minneapolis was selected based on its engaged community and city leadership as well as our progressive police department. I am happy to report that we are way ahead of the curve on many of the NI’s plans to enhance procedural justice, reduce implicit bias and support racial reconciliation.

The second event I’d like to highlight from my “Manic Monday” was a press conference with national media and Chicago’s local media. I was proud to stand alongside Chicago Police Superintendent Garry McCarthy and other men and women who form the National Law Enforcement Partnership to Prevent Gun Violence. What did we talk about? We not only stressed the dangerous national increase in gun violence, we urged for change and focus on our effort to keep illegal guns out of the hands of violent criminals, many of whom are repeat offenders killing people on our streets.

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While that is merely a small snapshot of my weekend with my colleagues, I can tell you I learned volumes from law enforcement leaders and academics. I was also happy to share that the fine officers of the Minneapolis Police Department are leading the sweeping wave of change on policing in America.

Welcome to InsideMPD.com

Sept. 22, 2015 - Thank you for joining us online. We hope you’ll find the information on this website valuable and useful. Transparency is one of the core values of “MPD 2.0,” and every single day we are looking for new and innovative ways to interact with the communities and residents we proudly serve. We have gone to great lengths to join our diverse and active online communities through social media, and I sincerely believe this website will take our communication and community engagement to a whole new level. We will work on updating it with content on a daily basis and hope you’ll find it to be your unfiltered source of information regarding the Minneapolis Police Department. But we are not just looking for a place to push out information; our goal is to facilitate a conversation. This website is as much yours as it is ours. Let us know what you’re thinking. Let us know what you’d like to see. Use the email address or the social media channels listed at the bottom of this website to get a hold of us. And finally, thank you for engaging in the city’s public safety conversation. Together, we’ll make the City of Minneapolis safer for generations to come.