Walz requests funds for state officers’ body cameras

Published 5:41 pm Tuesday, June 22, 2021

ST. PAUL — Gov. Tim Walz has requested funding to outfit Minnesota State Patrol troopers and officers working at the state Capitol with body cameras.

The $7.5 million to buy and maintain the cameras for the officers and troopers is contained in a transportation funding package that could come up for a vote later this week.

The bill also includes funding to add nearly two dozen state troopers and a dozen additional Capitol security officers to the detail, Minnesota Public Radio reported.

Body cameras are standard for many local police departments, but the state has been slower in adding them to its forces.

Capitol security has been a serious concern over the past year. A tall, chain-link fence surrounded the building as protests turned violent in the aftermath of George Floyd’s death in May 2020.

Crews took down the fence earlier this month and the Capitol reopened to the public for the first time since the coronavirus pandemic took hold in March 2020.