Chaska Rotarian Scott Knight, our local chief of police, give us background and future plans for body-worn cameras (BWC) at the Chaska Police Department. Scott explained that trust and transparency are required for the community to have an effective law enforcement and public safety organization. Our Chief worked on a Task Force for President Obama to study 21st century policing. The use of police vehicle cameras and other technology was reviewed. Cameras have been used in many cities, regardless of the size of the population served. Their purpose is to provide evidence arising from police-citizen encounters. However, due to the conflict between court rulings of public access and the rights of privacy for citizens, implementation of BWC has been inhibited. Those issues were resolved in 2017 when public safety
departments were given the choice to establish a policy that would limit automatic access to video evidence. Their use has proven benefits of providing evidence, reducing the need of force, and supporting training, so Chaska is moving forward with their implementation.
Background information about Chaska’s proposed body-worn camera policy, Frequently Asked Questions and more can be found online. Scott is asking for public review and feedback in writing, email, or at a public meeting. This topic will be presented at the Chaska City Council Meeting on June 18.