A number of recent controversies regarding police officer’s use of force has made a strong case for the use of body cameras and Illinois is one of the first states to set the standard on implementing them.
Although body cameras are not a requirement, this law sets statewide standards for the use of the cameras along with providing extra guidelines to protect all involved.
Commander Louis Cammiso of the Naperville Police Department said, “We are accustomed to and have dealt with false allegations against officers very often, and many times not even a false allegation, but maybe just a perspective of a citizen that ‘I felt this way’ and then we have that evidence if you will, that video to view and use. And that evidence can often times exonerate officers and point out some things where we need to do better.”
But installing body cameras is easier said than done. A project this big requires enough storage to hold videos for a minimum of 90 days. Not to mention training officers, putting policies in place and abiding by the Freedom of Information Act.
“If this was to go in place, if we were to adopt body cameras, one of the huge concerns would be the aspect of FOIA, people filing freedom of information to obtain these videos. This is going to require tons of man hours, personnel hours going through these videos, redacting information that we need to redact, like children, innocent parties, anything like this. It’s going to be a big burden on staff to have to respond to all of these FOIAs, go through all of these videos so that’s going to be a big concern,” adds Cammiso.
If Naperville were to adopt body cameras, drivers will pay an additional $5 fee on traffic tickets to help pay for the new equipment. The new law goes into effect January 1 of 2016.
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