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Wednesday, December 2, 2015

New Police Policies for 2016: Part 2 (Officer-Worn Body Camera Policies)

Municipalities throughout Illinois are taking action to promote the integrity of their police departments, as directed by a package of new laws adopted by the General Assembly last summer. Many of these new laws become effective on January 1, 2016.  In this 5 part series, we take a look at how local police departments can be prepared with new policies governing officer-involved deaths, officer-worn body cameras, FOIA, use of force, and more.

Part 2 of 5 in the Series - Officer-Worn Body Camera Policies

Under the Law Enforcement Officer-Worn Body Camera Act, the Illinois Law Enforcement Training Standards Board will develop basic guidelines for the use of officer-worn body cameras, and the Board’s guidelines will be the basis for a written policy which must be adopted by each law enforcement agency using the cameras. The Act has detailed minimum requirements for the written policy governing camera specifications, camera operation and maintenance, and recording storage, maintenance, and use. The policy must also indicate the potential criminal penalties, as well as any departmental discipline, which may result from unlawful confiscation or destruction recordings made by members of the public. Law enforcement agencies using officer-worn body camera must also file an annual report with the Illinois Law Enforcement Training Standards Board.

The Board has posted model policies and report forms on its website in the past, and while they are not available as of this writing, local police departments should keep checking the Board’s website as more information becomes available, http://www.ptb.state.il.us/. Meanwhile, various law enforcement organizations are busy crafting their own model policies to assist local police departments in complying with the new law.

Post Authored by Daniel J. Bolin, Ancel Glink


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