A Minnesota law enforcement officer most acquainted with a new technology getting close scrutiny by the Legislature said it has become indispensable when it comes to fighting crime.
“The evidence was, quite frankly, amazing,” Burnsville Police Chief Eric Gieseke said of their footage from police body cameras during an informational hearing Tuesday. “We were believers.”
Gieseke’s department is among the first in the state to try out body cameras, the sophisticated technology that has drawn scrutiny from the Legislature about privacy and how long the data will be stored. Several bills are circulating that would regulate their use.
Like others before it, Tuesday’s hearing also focused on license plate readers, and while law enforcement emphasized the importance of the devices, open-government advocates said privacy is paramount.
Don Gemberling, a board member of the Minnesota Coalition on Government Information, said that with current technology, “We do live in a surveillance society.”
“The question is, what kind of society do we want to live in?” he asked.