Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2022, $11,575)
The Hometown Police Department is a full-service law enforcement agency with thirty-five sworn officers; 3 are full-time and the remaining 32 are part-time. The department provides 24-hour police service to 4,343 residents. The total request for this project is $23,150.10. The federal request is $11,575.05 which will cover the cameras and travel. The city will provide a $11,575.05 cash match to fulfill the 50% match requirement. The department is submitting a request to fund 15 body worn cameras. The program is best described as a new program.
Overall, the Hometown PD has a positive relationship with the community. Citizen complaints mostly consist of rude behavior complaints, and there are often conflicting statements from officers and complainants when complaints are filed. There have been two lawsuits filed against the city in State Court. BWC footage would have been helpful to determine exactly what happened, benefiting all parties involved. The State of Illinois mandated that all police agencies have BWC by 2015. The Hometown PD has no body worn cameras and is not in compliance with this mandate.
The goals of the program are to improve transparency between the department and the community; improve training and correct internal problems; protect the city from wrongful accusations of misconduct; use BWC footage in review processes to monitor how calls are handled; and use DEM to improve the conviction rate in criminal cases. To implement the BWC Program, the department will hold meetings with community stakeholders, gauge the acceptance of the project, and to gather information on the public’s expectations. Once this is complete, the department, along with stakeholders will review and update the BWC policy. Personnel will then receive training, the cameras will be purchased and deployed, and the department will assess progress.
The Hometown Police Department is committed to successful implementation of the BWC PIP. The expected outcome of this project is to improve police services, community relations and prosecutions. The department has a clear understanding of what it will take to implement a successful BWC PIP and will ensure that the comprehensive approach to community input, policy development, training, implementation, and review described in this proposal is followed.