Officials release proposal to combat future police misconductby Madeleine Baran, Minnesota Public Radio
St. Paul, Minn. — Department of Public Safety Commissioner Michael Campion has released a proposal to create an oversight board and install video cameras in police squad cars, in response to alleged misconduct by the now-defunct Metro Gang Strike Force.
Commissioner Michael Campion released the proposed strategy on Wednesday, following concerns by the Legislative Auditor and the Metro Gang Strike Force Review Panel.
The proposal calls for the establishment of a Metropolitan Policy and Oversight Board made up of criminal justice representatives at the federal and state levels. Campion also urged the appointment of a criminal prosecutor who reports directly to the board.
The proposal includes equipping about 500 police squad cars with digital video equipment, using $2.5 million from a federal highway grant.
The Minnesota Chiefs of Police Association and the Minnesota Sheriffs Association support the camera initiative.
"Squad car cameras alone won't prevent allegations of biased policing," Campion said in a statement. "However, the direct evidence video cameras provide will enhance law enforcement and prosecutorial efforts as well as help ensure the rights of individuals accused are better protected."
The 35-member Metro Gang Strike Force was dismantled this summer, after allegations of improper seizures of money and property and other police misconduct.