body cameras

WNIJ News

 The DeKalb Police Department may be sporting body-worn cameras sooner than anticipated.

 

The DeKalb City Council unanimously approved a contract with Axon Enterprises, Inc. to purchase body-worn cameras for the police department. DeKalb City Manager Bill Nicklas says it’s a step in the right direction.  

 

Peter Medlin

The City of DeKalb is selling the old City Hall building and using some of those funds to buy body cams for police in an effort to increase police transparency.

Between the dash cam footage of Elonte McDowell’s controversial arrest late last year and the recent protests that followed the death of George Floyd, DeKalb community members have been calling for leaders to reimagine not just the culture of local policing but how police are funded.

City of Rockford

After over a week of protests in Rockford, Mayor Tom McNamara has released a statement with a working list of four steps designed to address police brutality and misconduct.

 

Mayor McNamara has signed onto the My Brother’s Keeper Alliance which promises incremental police reform via “common-sense limits on police use of force with feedback from the community.”

 

Flickr: West Midlands Police / Photo cropped from original

Chicago authorities say all police officers will be equipped with body cameras by the end of 2017, a year ahead of schedule.

Mayor Rahm Emanuel says in a Wednesday statement announcing the speeded up schedule that body cameras "improve transparency while building trust."

Scrutiny of police intensified after the release of a squad-car video last year ago showing a white officer fatally shooting black teenager Laquan McDonald 16 times.

Flickr: West Midlands Police / Photo cropped from original

Illinois lawmakers are expected to consider a plan to ease public access to police dashboard and body cameras under state open record laws.

The House Judiciary Criminal Committee will hear the plan by Chicago Democratic Rep. Art Turner on Wednesday.

The plan was spurred by the fatal shooting of 17-year-old Laquan McDonald in Chicago in October 2014. The shooting was captured by a Chicago police cruiser's dashboard camera but the video was made public only after a judge's order more than year later.

Flickr: West Midlands Police / Photo cropped from original

At least 10 law enforcement agencies in Illinois have turned to the Internet to raise enough money to purchase body cameras for officers.

As of Friday, departments in Palmyra, Benld, South Pekin, East St. Louis and six other municipalities in the state had signed up for free on the website BodyCameraDonations.com to receive donations for the devices.

Website creator Peter Austin Onruang tells the State Journal-Register that his body camera company, Wolfcom, provides the devices to law enforcement agencies for $250 each.

Flickr: West Midlands Police / Photo cropped from original

Chicago is expanding a program to provide body cameras to police officers.

The announcement Sunday from Mayor Rahm Emanuel's office follows the release last week of a squad-car video showing an officer fatally shooting teenager Laquan McDonald. The officer wasn't wearing a body camera.

The city will expand the program into six more police districts next year. Emanuel says in a statement that the expansion into one-third of the city will “strengthen the fabric of trust” between officers and residents.

Katie Finlon / WNIJ

Getting a speeding ticket in Illinois will cost you an additional $5, at least. It's part of a new state law regulating police body cameras.

A year after Ferguson, Missouri erupted in protests following the shooting of Michael Brown, Illinois has a law that's described as "landmark."

That $5 per $40 in fines tacked onto traffic citations will be used to create a fund police departments can draw on to pay for the cameras. Once they get them, the law sets standards for their use.

Flickr: West Midlands Police / Photo cropped from original

An Illinois proposal would provide funding for police body cameras.

The measure creates procedures for arrests and traffic stops, including pedestrian searches. Incidents like officer-involved shootings and arrests would have a standard protocol across Illinois, and the proposal would require more police training.

Funding would come from an increase in fines for traffic tickets.

Democratic Rep. Elgie Sims says when police officers wear body cameras, both the community and police benefit.

Flickr: West Midlands Police / Photo cropped from original

Facts are often murky around shootings, whether or not they involve police officers, and eyewitness testimony can be unreliable.

The recent protests in Ferguson, Missouri have renewed calls for police officers to wear body cameras. Those discussions are happening in some Illinois communities.