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Grand Forks Police Get Ready To Record You - Valley News Live - KVLY/KXJB - Fargo/Grand Forks

Grand Forks Police Get Ready To Record You

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   Here's a follow up to a story we first brought you last month. More than 40-thousand dollars of federal grant money has been approved to buy 52 body cameras for Grand Forks police officers. However, it hasn’t been determined yet, exactly when those cameras will be used and whether you’ll even know about it.

   Police say they’re already filmed all the time. For instance, Lt. Dwight Love says, when they respond to a bar fight in downtown Grand Forks, there will be as many as a dozen on lookers recording them, with their cell phone cameras.

Lt. Dwight Love, Grand Forks Police: “On any given call somebody could have their phone up videotaping us. But we don’t get that footage. And they can do whatever they want with it. This gives us a chance to control what we have out there.”

  This fall, all Grand Forks police officers will start wearing these body cameras, which can be switched on and off at the officer’s discretion…. While I’m recording this interview with Officer Love, he’s recording me.

  Plans for police to record public conversations out on the street gets a mixed reaction from some people, others question the legality of all this.

Man: “Yes, there’s somewhat invasion of privacy. You don’t want everything you’re doing accessible to everyone.”

Man: “I think it kind of keeps the cop a little more reliable.”

Man : “I think they would have to at least let you know they are recording you, before you answer.”

  At this point, policy on exactly how and when Grand Forks officers will use the cameras, and what they’ll tell the public are still being worked out.

Lt. Dwight Love: “Our concern is always, someone is videotaping us and they go to the media and they’re only showing what they want to show. Now we’re getting the whole incident.”

  Like it or not, from squad car cameras to police body cameras, a  ny interaction with police will soon be recorded in Grand Forks.

  We’ll let you know when that full fleet of body cameras goes into use in Grand Forks, and police policy concerning their use.

  Lt. Joel Vettel of the Fargo Police Department says, they’re monitoring the technology. But at this point, they have no plans to even do a trial run of body cameras for their officers.

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