Registered Agency Spotlight: Lawrenceville Illinois Police Department

lawenceville pd police body camera patchRegistered Police Department Spotlight: Lawrenceville Illinois Police Department

Police Chief: Chief James White

Link: Department Website

Number of Officers: 12

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Why has your department decided to start a body camera program?
Chief White: We decided to start a body camera program to meet the needs of the community and in response to what’s going on in country. You see it all over the TV news. Everyone is taking their own video and it helps to have the officers side on video as well.

How do you believe a body camera program will benefit your officers, department and the community?
Chief White: It will give the community real time video of our officers responses and actions. Body camera video will show exactly what took place and it will help with evidentiary purposes as well.

Are there any situations where having body camera video evidence would have made a difference in court cases or complaints against your officers?
Chief White: We currently use car cameras, but body cameras give us much greater view of what happened because they’re on the officers. A lot of times we get on the scene and we have to figure out very quickly what’s going on. Body cameras allow us to review the actions and confirm what we thought we saw. For example if we responded to a bar fight, we can go back over it and review play by play 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.?
Chief White: Right now we’re talking to our city attorney about it to research the laws and rules and come up with a policy soon.