In the wake of acts of violence and questions of police brutality throughout the nation, there has been a call for police departments to upgrade their transparency and make sure police actions are fairly scrutinized.
The city of Elgin took a step in that direction last week when it secured $250,000 in funding that will allow the department to purchase and implement body cameras for police officers.
Last week, the U.S. Department of Justice awarded three Illinois communities $1.323 million through the Body-Worn Camera Pilot Implementation Program to support law enforcement efforts and improve community policing.
“This funding is an investment in the safety and security of both our nation’s law enforcement officers and the people they are called upon day after day to serve and protect,” U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin said. “We must ensure that local law enforcement agencies are equipped with the best tools possible to do their jobs well and protect the communities they serve. Today’s grant will help meet that goal.”
The city of Chicago will receive $1 million of that funding and Lake County the remaining $73,000.
Elgin Mayor David Kaptain said he is extremely pleased that the Elgin Police Department has been selected to participate in this pilot program.
“Our police department regularly shows its dedication to building community trust and promoting transparency through a number of policing strategies,” he said. “This will serve as another critical tool in our police department’s comprehensive problem-solving strategy to enhance officer interactions with the public.”
The department of Justice announced $20 million for a new Body Worn-Camera Pilot Implementation Program in May as part of a broader effort to expand funding and training to law enforcement agencies through community policing initiatives. Law enforcement agencies from 42 states submitted 285 applications, requesting more than $56 million in federal funding. Last week’s announcement awards funding to 73 applications — including three from Illinois — which will support the purchase of 21,000 new body-worn cameras.age having been intercepted or otherwise) in the contents of this message. Any views expressed in this communication are those of the individual sender, except where the sender specifically states them to be the views of the city.
Ironically, the city of Elgin got some great press in a recent video that catches police officers doing something right. A YouTube video called “A Positive Interaction” showing a candid, live video of an Elgin police officer’s handling of a potentially volatile incident landed more than 7 million page views and has been hailed as a showcase for cool and calm, quality police work.
SOURCE: city of Elgin press release