Registered Agency Spotlight- Palmyra Illinois Police Department
Registered Police Department Spotlight: Palmyra Illinois Police Department
Department Donation Effort Contact: Chief Wayman Meredith
Police Chief: Chief Wayman Meredith
Number of officers: 6
Body Camera Goal:6
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Why has your department decided to start a body camera program?
Chief Meredith: We have been using Pro-Vision brand’s ‘Body Cam’ body Cameras, but they are no longer allowed by Illinois State Law since they do not have the 30 second pre-record feature and don’t last an entire shift as mandated by the new law. They’re considered out of date and we can’t use them in court. We originally got them for officer safety. We are a rural town, our nearest back up officer is usually 15 to 20 minutes away. We believe our dept would benefit from these cameras.
How do you believe a body camera program will benefit your officers, department and the community?
Chief Meredith:I know they work because we’ve been using them. Every time we get a public complaint, the person needs to fill out an affidavit Then we go watch the video and it catches the lies in their affidavit. I haven’t had one complaint that wasn’t a lie yet, proven by the body camera footage. So its saves our department time and money in 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?
Chief Meredith: We had a case 6 months ago where a guy admitted on body camera to throwing the first punch in a fight. Later he changed his story, but we got it on body camera so we caught that person in a lie.
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 Meredith: Our department will follow the guidelines in the new Illinois State Law.