By Caroline Lowe, WCCO-TV

BURNSVILLE, Minn. (WCCO) — The Burnsville Police Department was the first law enforcement agency in the state to use body cameras when it started equipping officers with the technology last summer.

Officers credit the video tool for helping them capture a much better image of what is going on when they are out on the streets. They have also helped clear cases of allegations of police misconduct in a matter of minutes instead of several weeks.

Officer Shaun Anselment said he can’t imagine going out on patrol without his video tool.

“We are able to get the true emotions at the scene,” he said. “We are able to see what officers did, what suspects did.”

Anselment said he is happy to show video, which goes into a computer on his belt, to someone he has stopped for a traffic violation. In one case, a woman denied she ran a stop sign.

“I said, ‘Ma’am, here’s what happened.’ She apologized and went on her way,” he said.

The cameras, made by Taser, are usually worn on an officer’s hat or on a headband.

So far, about half of the 40 officers on the Burnsville force use body cameras. The police chief hopes to have all of his officers wearing them by the end of the year.

Since they started using body cameras, the department no longer uses dash cam equipment in their squads, which they say are much more expensive and don’t provide as good of view of a scene.

The Burnsville  Fire Department is also looking to get their crews equipped with the cameras. Their interim chief, Dan Hove, said they played a big role in a recent fire at an apartment complex.

Officers on the scene with cameras were able to help them pinpoint the location of the fire and save critical time.

Several other Minnesota police agencies are also trying out the body cameras, including the Minnesota State Patrol.

Comments (79)
  1. M says:

    Hope the officers are not able to turn them off and on at will!

    1. interesting says:

      why not? seems to me they should have the right to go to the bathroom etc in privacy.

      1. WTBFreedom says:

        And beat down citizens in privacy? If we’re under surveillance, the tools of government should be as well.

      2. Ed says:

        But what if they go to the bathroom and FORGET to turn it off??? AAAHHH! Or record themself eating lunch. Or checking out some hot babe walking down the street. I hope they have a little humor and can laugh at themselves.

      3. QuestionAuthority says:

        If they actually be doing their job right they would not need to waste our tax money on that kind of equipment.

        Once the dollar fails and the U.S becomes a 2nd or 3rd world country (although it already is by definition) all these cameras are going to be used to track and trace your every move.

        Welcome to the New World Order

        1. Justin says:

          so you can tell me that you have NEVER done anything remotely wrong at your job then?? Yes i know Law Enforcement is held to a higher standard but they still too get privacy and as Ed said, humor to them selves.

    2. UhaveNoIdea says:

      You can always tell in comments to articles concerning police, who has been arrested. Its funny being a small city cop to read ppl go on and on about police brutality. From ppl who cannot imagine the stress and have no idea what it takes to do the job. Because 3 or 4 cops a year out of he 350,000 cops in the US kick someones ass for no reason dont mean the other 349,996 cops conduct themselves the same way. Next time your in an accident, get robbed, burglarized, etc… dont call 911 cause apparently ALL cops are vicious animals who care about nothing but beating ppl down for no reason…. The great things about these cams, maybe some videos will wind up all over youtube showing how ruthless and stupid the ppl cops have to deal with are and yet they are expected to just take it day in day out…. for their whole 35 year career, thats if they live that long and dont get killed by some two bit dirtbag who dont want to go to jail for the ounce of weed in their car…

      1. Mark Matis says:

        You might want to get your head out of your butt long enough to read:
        The stench is overwhelming. And it smells like pig.

      2. M 1 says:

        “Next time your in an accident, get robbed, burglarized, etc… dont call 911”

        “ppl” who are actual cops know that would be illegal.

      3. nick says:

        “who dont want to go to jail for the ounce of weed in their car…”

        You’d actually take someone to jail for having an ounce of weed on them? And you wonder why people have a bad image of the cops…

        1. I hate stupid people says:

          Hey Nick, think about it… WEED is illegal… If you don’t wanna go to jail, don’t have it on you.. simple…

      4. randy says:

        Not ALL Cops are bad, just enough to make you think so (80%).

      5. Patrick says:

        wish you stats were accurate, you must be from a small town because while I have never been arrested, I HAVE seen with my own eyes the abuse of people by police. I have also seen police break the law and get by with it over and over. For you information, I won’t call the police for help for any reason, although if someone breaks into my house ect, the police may be called on me for shooting them, and then I expect I will see what happens next. The police used to be about protecting and serving but not anymore. I have gone from a person who trusted them to one of complete distrust and have no respect.

      6. WHAT????? says:

        You chose the job and now you want people to feel bad for you? Just as you do not become a chef thinking that everyone is going to love the food you make, you should not become a cop thinking everyone has an automatic trust that you are a good person. As to the figures that only 3 or 4 cops a year use police brutality, I would love to know where those figures come from as you can probably find 3 to 4 a day that do this in larger cities like LA or NY.
        The other thought I would have is why would people feel this way without having some kind of base to it? Probably because most (and that is the key word here, most) police that have either talked to me or people I know do not treat people with the same respect that they want to be treat with. If you want to feel sorry for someone who has to take abuse day in day out talk to someone who has ever worked in customer service before.

      7. Thom Ready says:

        The best bcommet yet, thanks. Thom

      8. strich says:

        I don’t want to call 911 but I have to in this day and age. Hell I could go to jail for shooting someone in my own home. My step dad is a cop and you are delusional if you think police corruption is that little of a problem. And the only reason a dirtbag would kill you for weed is because it’s illegal which is your guy’s doing. I don’t smoke weed but I would way rather have that and other drugs be legal and kill the black market and put idiots like you out of a job.

    3. SayNO2GMO says:

      But isn’t such a lovely POLICE STATE that we live in. Why spend money keeping the library open longer, more books for children, pot holes filled, when you could spend that money on the PRISON INDUSTRIAL COMPLEX…..

  2. Mr T says:

    I think citizens should use body cams when they are dealing with all government officials and/or policeman. The government was created to protect the citizen’s privacy, not the other way around.

    1. MissAnthropy says:

      I agree. Yet we have just the opposite going on, with several states outlawing citizens recording the actions of police in public. Learn your place citizen. Move along.

    2. Party like it's 1776 says:

      You know if you had a camera on them you would be arrested…then there camera will get turned off.

  3. Victim Du Jour says:

    It’s like Borg Socialism on Star Trek, “We are Borg, you must be assimilated, resistance is futile”

  4. Victim Du Jour says:

    Dash Cam video tapes are locked in the trunk, and only a supervisor can get access to the tape.

    Is the police officer able to edit or delete what he is recording?

    1. I hate stupid people says:

      No they can’t edit them, it’s a direct download to the computer system… 2nd, the officers have access to the car cam tapes… who do you think changes them???

    2. Justin says:

      very few departments use actual tapes any more, its all digital and has an automatic download system to a computer file when within a certain proximity of the police station. Only supervisors with access are able to edit them, and must be reviewed on weekly basis for the government grants to keep in affect that funded them

  5. Mr T says:

    Like we can afford this. I can predict what’s going to happen here. The police pull over someone for erractic driving and lo and behold it’s a famous actress or politician who is crying because a loved one has died. The next day on a major news show there will be a segment saying “stay tuned to see so and so crying on tape”. If it was used for it’s initial purpose great, but history tells me it will end up being used to humilate someone

    1. Ed says:

      It should be considered police evidence and can not be made public.

  6. cojack says:

    Glad I don’t work there. Sounds like the chief and city officials don’t trust their officers. Waste of money. Don’t argue with me lady….see my video… heres your petty misd citation for running that stop sign. That 5 min traffic stop just took ten minutes. Let her argue and btch thats what courts for. Whats next you going to show her your radar too. What bull and waste of money and time.

    1. A says:

      What is a waste of time and money is her going to court to fight it. You then have to potentially pay the officer to be there as well as the cost that comes with court. An extra 5 minutes pointing something out on the scene is a huge money saver compared to the alternative if she chose to fight it.

  7. Al says:

    If you could hire/fire police for suspected corruption this would be completely unnecessary because a few alleged incidents w/suspicious activity would allow a supervisor to dismiss an officer that was suspected of being corrupt. But no. Now all of the other officers, that have served above reproach, are being forced to wear cameras to record their actions to ensure the validity of their police reports. PEOPLE – this is not what made this country great. Get rid of the Unions. Trust in our officers to protect us. Allow a chief to fire officers and mayors to fire their chiefs! Any other solution will not survive as it has been tried continually over time and has failed every time it was tried.

    1. Watchdog says:

      You simply don’t understand that the corrupt pigs are promoted and the honest cops are run out of the force. You live in a dream. I live in reality. The higher the rank, the dirtier the cop.

      1. MizzerBill says:

        Watchdog…you are an idiot pal. What left wing underground group do you belong to…I’ll bet you belong to at least one, don’t you?

        1. Eliot says:

          Watchdog is absolutely right. It’s true in places like Seattle and it’s true in tiny little towns like Nevada, Iowa. It’s true all over. The only cops who last are the dirty ones who won’t rock the boat for the big guys.

      2. Mark Matis says:

        You nailed it, Watchdog!

  8. Todd says:

    The system is called the “Taser AXON’. Look it up if you want your questions answered.

  9. claspur says:

    Police State, USA.

  10. gtz89 says:

    First of all this is not a waste of money because they are much cheaper than dash cam equipment. Also proving you are guilty then and there prevents someone from having to through a whole legal process which can cost alot of money to the state. Also investigation’s of police misconduct or anything the police officer see’s is solved right away (not always I bet but more so). Thus saving money and resources. Pretty simple. What privacy is threatened here? Oh you afraid they’ll catch you with no make-up on? Awww man! Seriously, the positive’s far outweight the cons here. Get serious.

    1. andrew p. says:

      the camera does not prove anyone’s guilt. This is America, and we are innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.

      it is interesting though how police officers and their attorneys get all bent out of shape when you record THEM, but they seem to have no problem recording private individuals.

      1. I hate stupid people says:

        yep.. you are some kind of special… and the camera is a tool to prove someones guilt or innocents… that’s why we have them. to keep people (i’m guessing like you) from being able to pay some silver tounge lawyer to keep you out of jail?? just a thought.

  11. Fuzzy says:

    Is this world going crazy! How can we possibly afford this? What happened to old fashion police work? The only winner here is the camera manufacturer!

    1. Jim says:

      The big losers are the lawyers, thank heavens!

    2. mahone dunbar says:

      Fuzzy, minature digital cameras are CHEAP these days. Wake up. The money saved in lawsuits alone justificies the small expense.

  12. l s says:

    Big Brother Bully with guns. Cops can already shoot you with ne repercussions, all they need is a no knock warrant, and they can kill you

  13. KeepUp says:

    I wish they would make every teacher wear one of these cameras and then publish the video on the Internet so everyone could watch them. It would open up a whole new dialogue to education, because then everyone could see what is really going on. If the public education system does not want cameras, then they would not get any taxpayer dollars.

  14. randy says:

    I personally don’t trust cops to not tamper with the cameras. If you do something bad the camera will record, but if the cops do something bad the cameras stops for no reason or the recording get edited or lost. If cops start wearing camers, the recording should be wirelessly sent to a trusted third party. Oh, and the cops excuse to have some privacy while using the restroom if BS, if you can’t find your junk by now, you never will.

    1. I hate stupid people says:

      yep.. people like you are why I picked my screen name.. and your also my job security… thanks for being you….

  15. beegee says:

    RFLMAO! Waste of money! When are people going to realize that the police are just a wing of the IRS? They really don’t stop or prevent crime. At any point during the day you are breaking the law. Speeding, no seat belt, didn’t use your blinker, jay walking, smoking, etc… I’ve been pulled over twice in the last year for B.S. reasons. 1) Snow covering my license plate. 2) Office thought I wasn’t wearing my seatbelt.

    All citizens need to start recording your interactions with Govt Officials. However, they’ve started to pass laws to making it illegal to film police officers during a traffic stop.

  16. ARCHON says:


  17. mahone dunbar says:

    Just a technical question for you: Is it difficult to breathe with your head up your anus?

  18. meeester11 says:

    Looks like another good time to buy Taser stock. All the police-haters will love this product because they think they are stickin’ it to the Man. In the meantime; cops love this stuff because it shows the details that they deal with.
    Have you seen the email going around with the defendants in court, all cleaned up, coat, tie, hair cuts -and lying like crazy. oops -officer has a video.
    Cops will embrace this the same way as Tasers. It’s a good tool for them to do their job without getting hurt or abused. If that keeps morale up and good cops on the force we all beneft.
    Now off to the stock broker.

  19. RationalThought says:

    Seems to me that it would be prudent to just obey the laws.
    If this (the camera) is a bad law it will be challenged in court.

  20. Phil says:

    Anyone remember back in the early 70s when the Burnsville PD chief had their officers wear turn in their uniform shirts for sport coats? I guess they’ve always been on the cutting edge!

  21. RWH says:

    I’m guessing in the case of police misconduct the tape will disappear? Just sayin’.

    1. Mark Matis says:

      You got that right! Just as the dashcam videos seem to mysteriously not work so often. The stench is overwhelming.

  22. John Galt says:

    Maybe all government workers and elected officials should wear these cameras as well. Why stop with just the police.

  23. mark edward marchiafava says:

    and it’s still illegal in some states for US to video THEM?

  24. Sean Moffett says:

    All police officials should be required to wear “tamper-proof” recording devices. Citizens should be able to subpoena this information when needed. Recordings should also be used to catch and prosecute corrupt police officials. Make it a felony for police to tamper with the device and make a requirement to record prior to contacting citizens. Sgt. John Bandemer ( SPPD – VICE and Human Trafficking) needs to wear one for threatening a citizen and denying a citizen equal protection in an attempt to bully and censor 1st amendment rights. Even with a witness to his threats, he still has his job. I always have some kind of recording device on me at all times now. Always record judges, attorneys and police officials…

  25. am says:

    I wonder when the uprising will happen in America? it happened in the Middle East. There is no hope here anyway.

    1. I hate stupid people says:

      if you don’t like it, go over to the middle east

  26. Stanley Grainger says:

    If the videos vanish, then the police will look so dirty that they won’t win in a jury trial. Even if a real snafu takes place and the video is destroyed, they still look guilty of something.

    It think that these cameras are a good idea. If you commit a real crime, it will be shown. If the police are lying, it will be shown.

    Could it be used corruptly? Sure, but showing you doing something wrong, that you actually did, isn’t such a huge deal. Just the chance that everyone, police included, will be held to the same standards makes it worth trying in my book.

  27. ONTIME says:

    With law suits being so easily brought to court the police have no recourse and now that all this social unrest is fomenting I wonder if they paln to wear these cameras in to areas where riot control will be needed.

  28. J says:

    It is interesting that people cry foul whenever cops are involved. And how a couple reports of some “bad cops” easily tarnishes all cops. the actions of some do not reflect the actions of all cops. All this outcry of cameras is useless. It is going to save money in the long run. Unfortunately a lot of people that are pulled over for actual offenses, not all, sometimes cry foul or make an excuse as to why they were breaking laws. These cameras if handled correctly could limit these kind of occurences. And single out those “bad cops” for hopefully some kind of reprimand or disciplinary/corrective action. If handled correctly it would keep everyone, civilians and cops, honest

  29. Patricia Bendott Higginbotham says:

    Sounds like the police officers need to wear body cameras to prove themselves…with all these derogatory comments…wonder how many of the talkers above have placed their life on the line…day in and day out…in public service.

    1. I hate stupid people says:

      good call patricia!!! it’s always easy to be standing on the side line saying they wouldn’t do something a certain way… when it’s the officers that are being attacked and shot at… Believe it or not people, the police have a family to go home to at the end of the night too.

  30. 333 says:

    I carry an audio recording device on me at all times, and tape every interaction I have with people. I also have dashcam…the beautiful thing about taping everything is that you are able to disprove the BS measures that people will go to in order to save themselves from a ticket or anything else.

    I think these cameras are great option to gather evidence for prosecution and disprove frivolous complaints. I started in retail and now work in the law enforcement field…let me tell you, I would rather work in retail ANY day of the week. In retail, when someone BLATANTLY lies and makes up a BS story, they get a few cents off their purchase and it’s over.

    I find these comments amusing; the police bashing here is hysterical. The funniest part of it all is how you will be the first ones to dial 911 looking for help from these people you “mistrust” and falsely accuse of violating civil rights and whatnot. If this were all true, why bother calling? By your account, calling 911 will give the “vicious, civil right violaters” your exact location….psht….your BS amazes me. I would go on to venture a guess that over half these people complaining start out from having to take responsibility for your actions (ie…you were plastered and playing wig-wag all over a highway…but then it was a “violation of your civil rights” that you got pulled over….or you “only had an ounce of weed”)

    The best part of it all is if you had even a shred of common sense, you’d be able to see the flaws in your own reasoning. Ignorance is bliss I suppose…

  31. Wasteed Effort says:

    Next time your in an accident, get robbed, burglarized, etc… dont call 911

    Good advice.. A cop on the scene will not help tn these cases,

  32. Joy says:


    Burnsville Police has 75 sworn Officers, not 40.