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City of Cloquet accepting public input on police body cameras

After approving the application for a grant for police body cameras earlier this month, the city is now giving the public the opportunity to submit comments on the project.

Cloquet City Hall.jpg
Cloquet City Hall. 2019 file / Pine Journal
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CLOQUET — The next phase of Cloquet's police body camera project includes gathering public input into the project, which began during a Cloquet City Council meeting on Tuesday, May 17.

Police Chief Derek Randall brought up the proposed policy for police body cameras and said the public and council will have the opportunity to comment on the policy.

Randall said, in accordance with the grant, there will need to be three opportunities for public comment.

Some aspects of the proposed policy include designating a coordinator for the cameras, how to store the files and when to activate the recording feature.

According to the policy, officers should activate the cameras during all interviews and stops, self-initiated activity and any other adversarial contacts.

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Randall said he didn't see any obvious revisions, as the policy mirrors that of other regional law enforcement agencies, but he intends to have the city's attorney look over the policy again.

There was no public comment during the meeting, but Randall read a letter from Diane Lambert expressing her thoughts on body cameras.

Lambert was in support of them and stated in her letter that they are in the best interest of the community and officers.

In other city business, Holly Hanson, community development director for the city, presented a rural leadership grant program.

The program is sponsored by the Blandin Foundation and is aimed at communities with 20,000 or fewer residents.

Hansen said the grant's use in Cloquet would be for installing a sign leading into Cloquet's riverfront trail head, and would display interpretive local history with Ojibwe culture and settler history of Cloquet.

"It is worth thinking about something we never really have funding for," she said.

The grants from the foundation range from $5,000 to $150,000, and Hansen said the average for them is around $50,000.

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Should the city be awarded the average amount for the grant, the proposal breaks down $10,000 for facilitating design and interpretive signage, and $40,000 to produce four to five high-quality interpretive signs.

The project would also have input from the Fond du Lac Reservation Museum and the Carlton County Historical Society.

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Related Topics: CLOQUETCLOQUET CITY COUNCILGOVERNMENT AND POLITICS
Dylan covers the local governments of Cloquet and Carlton County, as well as the Esko and Wrenshall school boards for the Cloquet Pine Journal.
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