St. Paul police will develop pilot programs to use body-worn cameras and create financial incentives to encourage more officers to live in the city, under a resolution passed unanimously Wednesday by the City Council.
The council approved the resolution after amending it to require police to make a report by May 1 on the body-camera program, including how much it may cost in 2016 and for the long haul.
Both programs would be funded in next year’s budget.
Council Member Dan Bostrom, a former police sergeant, offered the amendment and said he expected the program will be “costly.”
Dave Titus, president of the St. Paul Police Federation, said Tuesday that the use of body cameras will require additional personnel to handle the equipment and its data, and that the council should be prepared to fund it.
Council Members Chris Tolbert and Dai Thao, who sponsored the resolution, said they were looking for innovative ways to build trust between residents and police.
Body-worn cameras, already used in other Minnesota cities, are thought to improve accountability and discourage the use of force. But questions over data privacy persist.
The residency incentive program will consider establishing financial rewards for officers who buy or rent homes in the city, such as tax abatements or deals on rehabbed homes. Only 22 percent of the city’s police department employees, including sworn officers, dispatchers and civilians, currently live in St. Paul.