Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2022, $18,430)
The College of DuPage Police Department (CODPD) is committed to a safe, inclusive, and positive learning environment for all at College of DuPage (COD), the second largest provider of undergraduate education in Illinois. Located approximately 25 miles west of Chicago, the main Glen Ellyn campus encompasses 300 acres and 25,000 diverse students, staff, and faculty. CODPD believes in maintaining and improving agency transparency, accountability, and efficiency whenever possible, including through the usage of body-worn cameras (BWC). This grant will support CODPD to lease 20 BWCs for its officers and create a new, broad-scale BWC implementation program to comply with Illinois state law and to advance CODPD’s mission for the benefit of the COD community and its local criminal justice partners. The comprehensive implementation will be executed in five phases, where CODPD will develop a state law-compliant policy with internal and external stakeholder support, execute a broad communications campaign to the COD community, achieve 100% training compliance from all officers and staff utilizing the technology, and establish mechanisms to collect relevant performance data post-BWC deployment.
Deploying BWCs at CODPD will provide an additional layer of safety for citizens and officers on campus while promoting agency transparency, accountability, and effective evidence collection for cases occurring on and off campus. With the assistance of vendor-provided digital evidence management software, CODPD will be able to efficiently track how footage is being used, whether for evidence, officer complaint resolution, training, or through public requests. This new system will allow CODPD to report to the Illinois Law Enforcement Training and Standards Board, the DOJ, and to the public via annual publications.
The proposed implementation will benefit several stakeholders, including those who live, work, and study in the surrounding community, local criminal justice partners, and on-campus officer recruits. Proper BWC implementation will keep CODPD in compliance with Illinois state law, and these devices will serve as an important force-multiplier in building transparency, accountability, and trust with the community. CODPD will work directly with law enforcement partners including the DuPage County State’s Attorney and Circuit Court offices as well as adjacent police departments for wider community safety. Implementing BWCs at COD will allow for further collaboration and opportunities to refer valuable information to off-campus law enforcement agencies.