Community Weighs In On Police Body Cams, Wayzata PD Program Begins In November

The city of Wayzata recently wrapped up an online community poll regarding police worn body cameras. 

Image Courtesy City of Wayzata


The Wayzata Police Department will be implementing the program beginning in November.

The police department has been working on the program for several years.

“We are now falling in line with many other agencies as body cameras have now become somewhat a norm,” said Wayzata Police Chief Mike Risvold at a recent city council meeting. “The transparency and the accountability are key.”

High-profile police-citizen interactions across the country have brought police body cameras to the forefront.

“We look at the critical incidences that we see nationwide and the importance of having that video evidence.”

Acceptance of the use of body cameras by police officers has changed through the years.

“Officers have gone from ‘we don’t want to open that can of worms’ to ‘we can’t have them fast enough’,” said Risvold.

“The timing is right to get this thing going,” added Risvold.

The cost of the body camera program is just under $12,000 per year on a five-year contract.

You can review the body worn camera policy here:

Here are the results of the Wayzata Police Department Body Worn Camera Policy Survey conducted via


Where do you live?

Wayzata – 76% (47)

Long Lake – 11% (7)

Neither Wayzata nor Long Lake – 13% (8)


What is your gender?

Female – 50% (31)

Male – 50% (31)


What is your age?

20-34 years – 6% (4)

35-54 years – 40% (25)

55-64 years – 35% (22)

65 years and over – 18% (11)


I feel concerned about my privacy when having to deal with officers wearing body cameras.

Strongly Agree – 2% (1)

Agree – 5% (3)

Neutral – 10% (6)

Disagree – 35% (22)

Strongly Disagree – 48% (30)


An interaction with the police is less likely to result in a confrontation if everybody knows the

interaction is being recorded with body worn video.

Strongly Agree – 47% (29)

Agree – 42% (26)

Neutral – 5% (3)

Disagree – 5% (3)

Strongly Disagree – 2% (1)


Police use of body worn video is a step in the right direction.

Strongly Agree – 56% (35)

Agree – 39% (24)

Neutral – 5% (3)

Disagree – 0%

Strongly Disagree – 0%


Body worn video protects police against false accusations.

Strongly Agree – 66% (41)

Agree – 34% (21)

Neutral – 0%

Disagree – 0%

Strongly Disagree – 0%


Police should be required to notify individuals when they are being recorded on body worn video.

Strongly Agree – 15% (9)

Agree – 26% (16)

Neutral – 19% (12)

Disagree – 27% (17)


I feel safer when a police officer is wearing a video camera.

Strongly Agree – 44% (27)

Agree – 31% (19)

Neutral – 21% (13)

Disagree – 3% (2)

Strongly Disagree – 2% (1)


It is acceptable for Police to record body worn video as part of their official duties.

Strongly Agree – 58% (36)

Agree – 37% (23)

Neutral – 5% (3)

Disagree – 0%

Strongly Disagree – 0%


An officer should be able to view (not edit) body worn video prior to writing a report.

Strongly Agree – 34% (21)

Agree – 40% (25)

Neutral – 15% (9)

Disagree – 8% (5)

Strongly Disagree – 3% (2)


All police interactions with the public should be recorded with body worn video.

Strongly Agree – 42% (26)

Agree – 35% (22)

Neutral – 16% (10)

Disagree – 5% (3)

Strongly Disagree – 2% (1)


Police officers collect body worn video to protect me.

Strongly Agree – 34% (21)

Agree – 45% (28)

Neutral – 15% (9)

Disagree – 6% (4)

Strongly Disagree – 0%



Are there specific questions you believe the Wayzata Police Department’s body worn camera policy should address?

By individual officer, what is your answers to the questions we just answered from your concept and perception?

The policy of turning the camera off. What will be the policy of releasing footage whether it clears and officer or not. What is done

When video is appropriately shared (nude video, graphic, etc). How long is video kept that is not part of a criminal proceeding?

Will these videos be reviewed regularily?

What role does body camera footage play when police are responding to medical emergencies in their communities?

Thank you for the survey!

I believe that routine interaction with police should not require body camera use, Police should turn their camera on when the

Interaction becomes non-routine, or when their is evidence that a law has been broken. (other then minor traffic infractions).

No questions. My family supports the Police Department 100%, and if they need body cam footage to protect themselves from false accusations, it is fine by us.

Fines and suspension, etc when someone turns off their camera. Cannot allow some incidents to be filmed and others not. I’m in favor of

The ability for people to “screen” their personal identifying information (address, name, etc) from the general public, especially if a mental health condition is the underlying issue and reason for the call vs a crime (ie, Probably not a good idea to be posting all film publicly unless there is a dispute. Allow citizens to protect their ID if desired, within reason). Use common sense to protect privacy.

Body cams should be auto-on. Police shouldn’t have to turn it on – they may forget or selectively omit when they don’t want to record

When police are required to turn them on. It should be all the time.

Policy for disciplining officers if they don’t reliably or consistently use their PRS.

Security of stored body cam video e.g. against tampering or unauthorized access

This is not a question, but a comment. As a person who has had the opportunity to ride numerous times (15+ years ago) with many impressive officers of two suburban metro-mpls police departments, I can see how the use of a body cam can be a real benefit (potentially to both the officer and the citizen) and also “one more thing to manage in a quickly unfolding situation”. I’m sure it can be a powerful training tool, and a way to recall very dynamic situations. Hopefully, it is not in any was a liability to the officer as one more thing to think of when timing counts. My hope is that this tool will be an enhancement to the job and not an encumbrance. With that, thank you for what you do to keep us safe, and act as a valuable resource! We hope that unsuitable cops can be dealt with so that the good cops can do what they do so well! Thank you for being there for us!

Are there questions community advocates should ask Wayzata Police Department during the development of the body camera program?

What is done with the digital recordings? Hourly? Daily? Weekly? Monthly? Quarterly or annually or forever? Is this like DNA evidence that remains part of every interaction in perpetuity?

Yes, what about gun cameras in addition to or in place of, body cameras. They are less money and are made locally in Maple Plain. Viridian Weapon Technologies.

Will they be on at all times? not have the ability to be turned off?

Does the body camera policy and system include night vision capability?

Thank you for the opportunity!

What is best practice to protect the public in allowing police to review or not review recorded video prior to writing a report?

Not really a question but I would like to have normal day-day conversations with police without it being recorded. I also believe their should be a high bar for release of any recordings regardless of whether or not a law has been broken.

Will they be able to turn it off? Why?

Are body worn camera recording audited to find police that may be breaking rules unknowingly or knowingly? Who should be doing the auditing to ensure there’s no conflict of interest?

Whose input has been gathered in this process? The police work for the people, and if the surveys have mostly been encouraged by police officers asking friends/ family to take it, or if the police force is equal or greater than the voice of citizens, that’s not democracy. It should be citizen’s choice, with strong police input AND what the data says around impact and risks of body cams.

Why would cops prefer not to do cams? It seems like it’s a win-win for all parties.

When pulling people over and as son as they turn their camera on, should they record their initial reason or rationale for pulling someone over?

How do the Wayzata Police officers feel about this, pros/cons?

I think regarding the officer reviewing video prior to writing reports: the procedure that Wayzata adopts should be the procedure that offers the highest level of protection and service to the public. Moreover, the procedure Wayzata uses should be whatever procedure is consider best practice across the nation. The Volusia County Sherriff’s dept of Florida has become a model of success for training officers to serve a diverse population. I would like our police dept to adopt regular training that is similar to that of Volusia County.


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