Registered Agency Spotlight: Benld Illinois Police Department
Registered Police Department Spotlight: Benld Illinois Police Department
Department Donation Effort Contact: Jered Carlen
Police Chief: Chief Jim Zirkelbach
Number of officers: 14
Body Camera Goal– 5 Body Cameras
Click here to donate to this department
This department has received $25.00 in donations so far. They need $1,345. to meet their goal!
Why has your department decided to start a body camera program?
Chief Zirkelbach: Right now we don’t have any body cameras; we just don’t have the budget to afford them. The State of Illinois just passed a law that says we have to start using them. So we’re getting them because of the law and also body cameras are an asset if something were to happen we can have video evidence so it’s for our officers protection and the protection of the citizens… basically it’s a liability asset.
How do you believe a body camera program will benefit your officers, department and the community?
Chief Zirkelbach: Body Cameras will be helpful especially in a small community, if we can capture events on video, we can show the public what hallpened and exactly how our officers responded. It’s for everyone’s benefit.
Are there any situations where having body camera video evidence would have made a difference in court cases or complaints against your officers?
Chief Zirkelbach: We had a situation a few years ago where a guy went off in a bar and they locked him out, but he came back and kicked the door in and caused a scene then went home. Our officers responded to his home and he came at them with a butcher knife. Fortunately our officers did not have to use deadly force were able to Tase him, but afterwords his girlfriend filed a complaint alleging that there was no reason for our officers to have Tased him and that he did not attack them… a body camera would have captured all the evidence we needed to prove exactly what happened in that situation.
Does your department have guidelines for a body camera policy? If so, what would the policy be? When would officers be required to record, etc.?
Chief Zirkelbach: The State of Illinois new law says that officers must wear body cameras and they must turn them on when responding to any call and all traffic stops. Our department will follow the State Body Camera Guidelines.