Cloquet Police Department considers adding body cameras

Published: May. 17, 2022 at 9:18 PM CDT
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CLOQUET, MN. (KBJR 6) -- In the wake of George Floyd’s murder two years ago, many have called on police officers to wear body cameras.

Following in the footsteps of departments like Duluth and Superior, Cloquet PD may soon be utilizing body-worn cameras.

“We’ve wanted to go to body cams for a long time, but in the past the cost was something we couldn’t overcome as a city,” said Cloquet Police Chief Derek Randall.

The department received $38,000 in federal grants to support the implementation of the body cams.

Now they are presenting the proposal to the city in a three-part public hearing, which is required to receive the remainder of the funding.

“Something of this magnitude we want to make sure our community and our city government knows why we’re looking to implement these,” Randall said.

He said body cameras are a win-win for police and residents.

“I think it’s important for our community to know what our officers are doing, to know that there is documentation that will be there when incidents occur,” Randall said.

At the second public hearing during Tuesday’s city council meeting, there was an opportunity for locals to speak out.

“I think it’s a good idea because when the criminals may say they didn’t do it or whatever, it’s on camera, it protects innocent people too,” said Linda Williams, a Cloquet resident. “It helps the police out.”

Randall said there are many benefits to adding cameras to the squad, but building trust within the community is top of the list.

“The biggest thing is it brings transparency, it brings transparency to our jobs,” Randall said.

If the city approves funding the rest of the cost, which is about $200,000 over three years, Randall said the body cams should be implemented by the fall of this year.

If you’d like to weigh in, you can call or email the Cloquet Police Department.

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