Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2021, $166,000)
Madison County is submitting this application for funding to support a NEW Body-Worn Camera (BWC) Implementation Program. Currently, the Madison County Sheriff’s Office has neither a body-worn camera policy nor body-worn cameras in use by deputies. Madison County would draw upon nationwide “best practices” and newly established State law regarding required protocols and procedures in order to successfully implement policy and BWC equipment. The Madison County BWC implementation plan would be consistent with State Freedom of Information Act requirements and also maintain personal privacy of the citizens captured on BWC video. The solution includes policy development, BWC equipment, servers, storage, and redaction software solutions.
The Madison County Sheriff’s Office has 83 sworn deputy sheriffs. Of those, 64 have patrol activities or daily interactions with citizens in the field. This proposal would provide 83 body-worn cameras to equip all sworn deputy sheriffs in order to be compliant with State of Illinois law.
The Illinois Law Enforcement Officer-Worn Body Camera Act became law and was effective July 1, 2021. The General Assembly recognized that trust and mutual respect between law enforcement agencies and the communities they protect and serve are essential to effective policing and the integrity of our criminal justice system. The Act acknowledges that officer-worn body cameras have developed as a technology that has been used and tested by police agencies worldwide. Officer-worn body cameras will provide state-of-the-art evidence collection and additional opportunities for training and instruction. Furthermore, the Act states that officer-worn body cameras may provide impartial evidence and documentation to settle disputes and allegations of officer misconduct. Ultimately, the uses of officer-worn body cameras will help collect evidence while improving transparency and accountability, and strengthening public trust. The Act outlines standardized protocols and procedures for the use of officer-worn body cameras to ensure that this technology is used in furtherance of these goals while protecting individual privacy and providing consistency in its use across the State of Illinois. The Madison County Sheriff’s Office will be utilizing the BWC consistent with the Act and provide required reporting to the Illinois Law Enforcement Training and Standards Board. Additionally, as the State requirements are updated and changed, the internal policy governing the use of BWC will be updated and maintained. Although the Act requires the Madison County Sheriff’s Office to be fully compliant with the Act by January 1, 2023, it provides no direct funding to Madison County. The implementation of a successful BWC program is not budgeted and could not be done without the Federal funding assistance requested in this proposal.