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Bozeman Police Department drafts recording policy as it prepares for body-worn cameras

The Bozeman Police Department has a draft of the body camera policy.
City of Bozeman
The Bozeman Police Department is in the process of drafting its body camera policy.

This summer, police officers in Bozeman will begin wearing body cameras while on duty.

At a Coffee with a Cop event in May where residents could ask officers questions, Community Resource Officer Marek Ziegler said the body cameras will attach to a pocket on officers’ vests.

“You’ll see it, and there’ll be a light, so people will know it’s on. Also they can ask an officer if they’re being recorded,” he said.

Bozeman Police Chief Jim Veltkamp says as the department drafts its recording policy it wants to strike a good balance between collecting evidence and respecting people’s privacy.

“So if they’re for example at Music on Main just walking around downtown they are not going to have them on, and it would be the same if they’re just driving around the city or looking for traffic violations they would not have them on,” he said.

Veltkamp says the department plans to release a draft recording policy in late June.

The public can learn more about the Bozeman Police Department’s plans for body worn cameras at https://engage.bozeman.net/bodyworncameras.

Olivia Weitz covers Bozeman and surrounding communities in Southwest Montana for Yellowstone Public Radio. She has reported for Northwest News Network and Boise State Public Radio and previously worked at a daily print newspaper. She is a graduate of the University of Puget Sound and the Transom Story Workshop.