Rockford Police answers community’s questions on new body cameras

Local News

ROCKFORD, Ill. (WTVO) – Rockford Police will soon have another tool in their arsenal to keep the city, and themselves, safe.

Officers are set to wear body cameras starting next week, but before they get the new piece of equipment, the department answered the communities questions.

The community got the chance to hear from the Rockford Police Department about how their new body cameras will work.

“I came here to find out information about the body cams,” said Rockford resident Justin Cavitt. “I think it’ll be a great thing for not only the community, but for the police department.”

Before they go live, the RPD is letting the public ask questions.

“The first thing that came to my mind was how much data storage they’re going to have, how long are they going to keep the recordings,” said Jeremiah Griffin, another resident of Rockford. “They did their best to answer that, and I think they have their standards they have to meet.”

Rockford Police Chief Carla Redd said that training is underway, and they expect officers and detectives to be wearing the body cams by next week, starting October 25.

“We were well in the process before legislation even hit, so we are definitely above the curve, and the legislation, depending on the size of the department, it has different time frames for when you must have implementation of body cams,” Redd said.

Redd believes the cameras will be beneficial for everyone, by making officers take accountability for their actions.

“So one, it should be recorded as well, but the officer will document in their report that the individual they were dealing with requested that the cameras be turned off,” Redd said. “There’s a lot of moving pieces to it that will actually fair a lot better for everyone involved in the criminal justice system.”

Whenever an officer arrives at a scene, they must announce that they are recording. If a victim of a crime says that they do not want to be recorded, police must comply.

However, to ensure accountability, the officer must have the request from the victim on video before shutting the camera off, as well as document the reasons why the camera was shut off.

There will be two more information sessions, with the next one being held on Wednesday night.

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