Big decisions - both financial and procedural - are in front of the St. Louis County Board at their next meeting on December 14.  At that meeting, the board will consider a vote on purchasing body cameras for deputies in the sheriff's department; they'll also take up the greater policy issue on when and how they'll be used.

The discussion is tied to an expected vote by the St. Louis County Board to spend $790,000 to purchase 110 body cameras, accessories, and equipment.  The purchase price would not be due at the immediate time of purchase - rather - the board would spread the cost out over the course of the next five years.

A consideration to outfit the St. Louis County Sheriff's Office with body cameras follows a greater national trend in doing so for law enforcement agencies.  Similar to those around the country, "[t]he [St. Louis County] Sheriff's Office has experienced an increase in deadly force encounters in recent years and recognizes that body camera video can increase transparency and accountability, help dispel rumors, and also assist with investigations".

St. Louis County Sheriff, Duluth Police public safety building in Duluth, MN
Nick Cooper - TSM Duluth
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Ahead of the vote, the St. Louis County Board is inviting public comment on both the implementation of body cameras as well as the proposed policy surrounding their use by the department.  There are a variety of ways you can make your opinions known to the board:

  • Submit an email to sheriff@stlouiscountymn.gov
  • Call 218-336-4347
  • Mail:  St. Louis County Sheriff's Office, Attention BWC, 100 North 5th Avenue West, Room 103, Duluth, MN, 55802

The general public is also invited to take part in the meeting that will happen on December 14.  That meeting starts at 9:30 AM and will be held at the St. Louis County Government Services Center in Duluth, 320 West 2nd Street, in the Lake Superior Room on the second floor.

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