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Illinois Department Discontinues Body Camera Use

April 11, 2016  | 

Photo: Minooka PD Facebook
Photo: Minooka PD Facebook

The Minooka (IL) Police Department has stopped using officer body cameras after a six-month testing phase because of the increased workload involved, reports the Morris Herald-News.

Last year, Illinois was one of the first states in the country to pass legislation creating comprehensive law enforcement rules for body cameras. The law did not mandate that police departments use them, but it did specify how and when they should be used if a department elects to use them.

Minooka Police Chief Justin Meyer said Friday the issue was not with the functionality of the cameras, but that it became a burden for staff to fill the many requests for video footage.

Officers were required to turn the cameras on for any law enforcement situation, from directing traffic to serious crime responses, Meyer said.

"I was happy [with the body cameras]," Meyer said. "It just became a bit burdensome for our administrative staff."

BatteryJack of Minooka supplied the cameras, which were shared by the department's 15 uniformed officers.

Comments (7)

Displaying 1 - 7 of 7

frogman @ 4/11/2016 6:53 PM

well I can certainly see how the Minooka Dept. is aggravated with the extra work. I surely believe that spending more time working on the Heroin and prostitution hot spots would interfere.
Oh I also forgot f speding time in the station.
Hats off to you Justin
Good Thinking!

Sheriffs Explorer Sgt. @ 4/11/2016 8:27 PM

I think as does the Minooka PD, that body cams are too much extra work. Theres no reliable evidence that shows that body cams do any good.

Mickey @ 4/12/2016 12:14 AM

Officers on the departments near me that use them say that citizen complaints have dropped dramatically and even a few law suits quashed.

Now is all of this because the cameras verify the officer's report against suspects or do they make the officer's behave because they know their on camera?

I'd say both. If I worked in Minooka I'd ask the chief If I could wear a personal cemera. Then again I'd have to watch my foul mouth.

kevCopAz @ 4/12/2016 7:01 AM

I fully understand that a small Department like that (I lived in Chicago for 22 years, never heard of them) does not have the resources to handle all that is mandated by law reference the cameras. Once again the politicians make a possibly good piece of equipment useless and burdensum thru their interferrence beyond common sense with the Laws surrounding camera use. Illinois has a history of stupid laws and both corrupt and useless politicians. I wouldn't be surprised if some cousin or brother of the one who pushed the legislation (if not themselves) get some financial benefit from something in that law! Thats the "Chicago way") As a "old timer" I would at this late stage in my career have issues with cameras (foul mouth) and was against them at first, but frankly the camera seems to help us now more then hurt us. If used correctly it proves it when we did the job correctly and is good evidence in court. Sometimes if proves we screwed up, but honestly we should try not to screw up!

Leonard @ 4/12/2016 10:19 AM

I support body cameras and believe every officer should carry them. I also believe that footage be made available to open records requests with very few exceptions. Secondarily, I do not believe officers making reports be allowed to view the as to ensure officers are not tailoring their reports to the footage. Thirdly, I also believe that if the body cam footage is not available when it should be, then the narrative should favor the suspect rather than the officer to protect against turning off of body cams and the always suspect equipment failure. That being said, officer body cam footage presents only one view and and focuses only on the suspect, rather than the officer and has a tendency to make interactions appear more violent than they actually are because of the movement of the officer. I also agree that body cams make both parties (suspect and officer) knowing there is an objective view of the events.

Tony @ 4/12/2016 10:56 AM

I can understand that the citizen complaints have dropped because of the use of body camers. However, that dosent mean that the FOIA requests from just citizens wanting to see what the video show when an officer was at their home goes up, because they now know they were on video.

Concerned Citizen @ 4/13/2016 2:03 PM

I support body cameras when the camera shows Leonard crying like a baby because his significant other left him for another man, or his cell phone gets stolen and he can no longer post on this site. Secondarily, I do believe officers shouldn't be able to use the footage to write an accurate report for Leonard's loss. Thirdly, I believe if the footage is not available, when we capture the bad guy, Leonard does't get his property back because we can't prove the bad guy took it. That being said, maybe cameras should be required on everyone, so no one can say it didn't happen. Now being serious...Body Cameras do have their place, we need to get rid of FOIA's.

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