Village Approves New Body, Car Camera System for PD

By Jeremy Coumbes on March 21, 2022 at 2:55pm

The South Jacksonville Police Department is getting ahead of the state body camera requirement. The Village Board of Trustees voted unanimously to approve the purchase of Axon body camera software and equipment for approximately $83,000 during a special meeting of the board on Thursday.

Village Chief of Police Eric Hansel says in negotiating with Axon, they were able to reduce the cost by a little over $1,000 and add pick up a free slot for a member of the department to become a certified taser instructor. Hansel says the certification is a huge need with all of the personnel turnover the Department has seen over the last few years.

Last year the State of Illinois passed legislation requiring every law enforcement officer in the state to be equipped with a body camera by 2025. Hansel the contract with Axom puts his department well ahead of the curve for being in compliance.

All of our videos will be stored on the cloud. It’s secure storage with unlimited storage capacity. The other nice thing about it is there’s a citizen link through this system. So if you were out on the street and you videotaped a criminal offense, I can send you an email or a text message with a link and you can upload that video right into our case file. Pictures and videos of criminal events, domestic batteries, that can all be uploaded.

It’s all cloud-based so the States Attorney’s Office will get a free link to it to where they can go review the videos. There are probably at least one hundred departments in Illinois alone that are on this system, and we will be able to share videos with them and link up as partners to share data. It’s going to be a really really nice system.”

Hansel says along with being ahead of the curve for compliance, there will also be along learning curve to get up to speed with all of the new technology. “There is so much data and training that is going to go into this system, that there is going to be a long implementation process because the body cameras are going to take about ninety days to get and get going with the I.T. Department.

And then a squad car camera you’re looking at a minimum of seven months and it has to be installed by them. So that’s even farther down the road, so we will have a new car that will come out on the road that technically won’t have a car camera, but it will have a body camera with the officer that will be in there. It will be essentially the same thing.”

Hansel says going forward the system will allow for in-car camera installation such as backseat monitors that begin recording once the rear door is opened.

He says South Jacksonville’s squad cars will not have to leave the area for installation as Axom will send an installer to them to perform all of the work.