Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2022, $264,000)
The Carbondale, Illinois Police Department (CPD), in partnership with the Jackson County, Illinois Sheriff’s Department (JCSD) and the Southern Illinois University-Carbondale Department of Public Safety (SIUC DPS), is applying to the Bureau of Justice Assistance FY 2022 Body Worn Camera Policy and Implementation Program to Support Law Enforcement Agencies in order to develop and implement a comprehensive Body Worn Camera (BWC) program. The State of Illinois recently passed the Law Enforcement Officer-Worn Body Camera Act, mandating BWCs for all law enforcement agencies by January 1, 2025. The Act recognizes that BWCs help collect evidence, improve transparency and accountability, and bolster trust and mutual respect between the community and law enforcement agencies. The purpose of the proposed project is to equip officers at each of the partnering agencies with a BWC as part of a program that is supported by stakeholders, maximizes the evidentiary value of BWCs, and improves criminal justice outcomes.
The CPD and subrecipient agencies share a mission to provide professional, accountable, and transparent police services to the diverse community of Carbondale. None of the agencies currently have a BWC program. A new BWC program will benefit the agencies, the community, and other stakeholders. The CPD has conducted focus groups with a variety of stakeholders, including officers, prosecutors, and community residents, and has also identified a potential vendor. The total number of BWCs proposed to be purchased is 132. The CPD would equip 60 officers, the JCSD would equip 32 officers, and the SIUC DPS would equip 35 officers, with an additional 7 BWCs purchased for temporary issuance in the case of emergencies or failures. The new BWC program will be implemented in accordance with policies and practices adhering to accreditation standards and local and state law. The program will provide training and address conduct issues with officers and provide valuable evidence for the larger criminal justice system that serves the community. Pertinent data, such as use of force incidents, complaints, and the use of BWC footage by prosecutors will be collected and analyzed throughout the grant period.