The Galesburg Police Department goes live with body-cameras

December 11, 2020 09:58 AM
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 The Galesburg Police Department goes live with body-cameras
Contact:   Galesburg Police Department

Phone:      309-343-9151


Galesburg, IL (December 11, 2020)  The Galesburg Police Department (GPD) rolled out a new fleet of squad cars in the last quarter of 2020.  As part of this, GPD initiated a new car and body-worn camera system (BWC).  This new system incorporates both the in-car and body-worn cameras into one program.  Every uniformed officer assigned to patrol duties has been issued, and will wear, a body-worn camera while on duty.

In speaking with Chief Russell Idle, he said, "The Galesburg Police Department is dedicated to the principles of 21st century policing.  One of those principles is to promote trusting relationships with the community you serve.  One way we can do that is through transparency and accountability for everything that we do.  Body-worn cameras are one tool we can use to work toward that goal."

As part of this program, GPD has instituted a policy on the use of the BWC.  Illinois law has certain requirements for a BWC program, and the GPD policy meets all of these requirements.  Two examples of this are a 30 second pre-record when the camera is activated, and the use of the camera from the start to finish of any law enforcement function. 

According to Chief Idle, the BWC program will assist the officers in several ways. The recordings will be used by the courts to prosecute offenses caught on camera.  Witness and suspect statements can be taken with the system. The cameras will be used by administration to evaluate complaints brought by the public. This can be used to clear an officer of false accusations, or to bring to light any issues regarding officer conduct that need to be improved.  

Police administration will also conduct monthly reviews of body and car camera footage for quality control and training purposes. 

Chief Idle stated, "It is important to realize that this new system is a useful tool, but it is not a silver bullet.  Sometimes the footage obtained is unclear, or relevant facts occur off-camera.  It is important for the officers and the public to understand these limitations, and have reasonable expectations of this new program."    
 

 

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