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Lake Zurich Police Department Body-Worn Camera Implementation Program

Award Information

Award #
Funding Category
Competitive Discretionary
Awardee County
Congressional District
Awarded, but not yet accepted
Funding First Awarded
Total funding (to date)

Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2023, $65,961)

The Lake Zurich (IL) Police Department proposes the implementation of a comprehensive BWC
program (Opportunity Number O-BJA-2023-171562). The purpose of this BWC program is to provide
evidence for criminal investigations, help officers evaluate their own performance, and protect
citizens’ civil rights by providing an objective record of events. Additionally, BWCs could potentially
reduce instances of police misconduct and increase officer accountability. Project activities include
planning and deploying a comprehensive BWC program. Expected outcomes include measuring
average treatment effect of BWCs on documented use of force, civilian complaints, officer discretion,
whether a case was prosecuted, and case disposition. Police officers, community members, crime
victims, suspects, and offenders are the intended beneficiaries of the project. We are confident that
leveraging innovative technology such as BWCs is a solution that can demonstrate our commitment to
outcomes that promote civil rights and racial equality, increase access to justice, support crime victims
and individuals impacted by the justice system, strengthen community safety and protect the public
from crime and evolving threats, and build trust between police officers and our community.
The Safety and Accountability for Everyone Technology (SAFE-T) Act was signed into law by the
Illinois governor on February 2, 2021. The act requires all police officers in the state to wear BWCs.
The goal of this legislation is to increase transparency and accountability between law enforcement
and the public. The Lake Zurich Police Department will be required to deploy BWCs by 2025. One
challenge with this initiative is that it is an unfunded mandate. Municipalities are being required to
fund all portions of their BWC programs, including acquisition of hardware and software and the
storage and management of recordings. The Lake Zurich Police Department is a very lean
organization. Deploying a new BWC program could lead to cuts to other valuable programs and
BWCs are an important tool that can be integrated into our holistic problem-solving and community
engagement strategy, helping to increase both trust and communication between our police officers
and our community. BWCs can be effective by providing objective audio and visual record of
interactions that can capture empirical evidence in the event of a crime, police-citizen interaction, or
use-of-force incident. We strongly believe that sharing digital evidence from BWCs with our local
prosecutor’s office will strengthen our relationship and our cases. Ultimately, this should lead to a
safer community for all residents.

Date Created: September 25, 2023