Group wants to mandate police body cameras
A Waubonsie Valley High School bill group introduced a bill mandating the use of police body cameras, as well as the proper training to use the devices.
According to the bill sponsors, this bill was written in reaction to the Michael Brown tragedy in Ferguson, MO last fall.
Michael Brown was unarmed youth shot and killed by Ferguson, MO police.
Adarsh Velagapudi, Senate Sponsor, said, “Police body cameras would decrease the amount of conflict concerning evidence from police brutality cases.”
In addition to addressing conflict between police and the public, the sponsors believe the legislation will tighten the relationship between the police and the community.
House Sponsor Andres Zocchi said, “The cameras would help re-establish trust between police departments and communities.”
The city of Chicago and cities in California are currently researching the benefits and implementation of police body cameras.
According to the bill brief, funding for the devices will come from a tax increase on cigarettes.
The bill also proposes that police departments and officers who fail to use the cameras will be issued a warning after the first offense, followed by set fines and investigation by the Office of the Executive Inspector General.
The bill group has researched and concluded that police body cameras also have financial benefits.
“The cameras will save Illinois approximately $1.6 million by eliminating costs to gather evidence for cases,” said Velagapudi.
Although acquiring the cameras will be very expensive for police departments, the bill group is confident that the cameras will eventually pay for themselves.