Registered Agency Spotlight: Braidwood Illinois Police Department
Registered Police Department Spotlight: Braidwood Illinois Police Department
Police Chief: Chief Nick Ficarello
Department Donation Effort Contact: Tari Atherton
Number of officers: 17
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Why has your department decided to start a body camera program?
Chief Ficarello: To protect our officers in liability issues and to add confidence for the public and our community. They will add near total transparency if there are inquiries or questions pertaining to police response.
Tari Atherton: We have three body cameras right now that we’re using, but we want to get more for all of our officers (the department has 17 officers). We mainly want to use body cameras because of everything going on in the news… we want them for officer safety and the safety of the public.
Are there any situations where having body camera video evidence would have made a difference in court cases or complaints against your officers?
Chief Ficarello: Yes. An allegation of sexual harassment during a traffic stop against an officer who was later exonerated because he was on a legitimate traffic at the same time at a different location. Having a body camera would have shortened the internal investigation considerably.
How do you believe a body camera program will benefit your officers, department as a whole and the community?
Tari Atherton: Body cameras will help us be more accountable and more open so we can do our jobs better.
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 Ficarello: The officers’ are required to record any time they have contact with the public. This will quickly put a stop to frivolous complaints against officers while doing their jobs.