Registered Agency Spotlight: E. St. Louis Park District Police Department
Registered Police Department Spotlight: East St. Louis Park District Police Department
Department Donation Effort Contact: Lt. James Nichols
Police Chief: Chief Marion Hubbard
Number of Officers: 11
Body Camera Goal: 3 or more
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Why has your department decided to start a body camera program?
Lt. Nichols: We wanted to get body cameras because of all the stuff going on in the news lately. Many times people will lie. In situations in court, it’s better for us to have visual evidence just like with car cameras. We’re a small department and we really don’t have the budget for body cameras.
How do you believe a body camera program will benefit your officers, department and the community?
Lt. Nichols: There are so many shady individuals out there and sometimes even on traffic stops, people will make up fake complaints. We don’t have money for lawsuits so body cameras are the best way we can protect ourselves against false complaints.
Are there any situations where having body camera video evidence would have made a difference in court cases or complaints against your officers?
Lt. Nichols: One of our neighboring departments had a situation where one of their officers did a traffic stop and the young lady said that the officer fondled her. The case went to court and she won and the officer was fired. A body camera would have made a big difference in that case in proving exactly what happened.
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.?
Lt. Nichols : Our department will follow the guidelines in the new Illinois State Law.