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updated: 3/17/2013 4:06 PM

Courtroom cameras coming soon to Kane County

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The Illinois Supreme Court in January 2012 gave the OK for cameras to be used in courtrooms on an experimental, circuit-by-circuit basis,

Since then, numerous circuits have formulated plans and received the go-ahead for cameras, including the 18th Circuit in DuPage County.

Officials in the 16th Judicial Circuit in Kane County had hoped to send their plan to the state's Supreme Court by the end of February and obtain approval sometime this month.

Now, it looks like the plan will be sent to justices at the end of this month, with possible approval coming sometime in April.

Chief Judge Judith Brawka said she hopes to iron out a system for staff at the Kane County Circuit Clerk's Office to notify parties when the media request expanded coverage of a case.

Brawka said the clerk's office is in the process of putting out a proposal for a new court case management system, but the notification for part of the camera plan must fit within the current computer system right now.

"They've been engaged in a major project," Brawka said. "It's not a complaint. It's just the reality of it."

A committee of judges, prosecutors, defense attorney and local attorneys recommended a set of rules in October. But former Chief Judge Robert Spence was appointed to the Second Appellate Court District and Brawka said the plan needed additional input.

Learn from Elgin police: Applications are being accepted through Wednesday for the Elgin Police Departments's Citizens Police Academy.

The classes are taught by Elgin police officers and staff members. Topics will include: an overview and tour of the police department; how officers respond to resistance; traffic laws/DUI; Tactical Response Team; K-9, gang and drug investigations; processing a crime scene; criminal court and more.

The program will be held from 6 to 9 p.m. Wednesdays, April 3 through May 29 at the Elgin Police Department, 151 Douglas Ave.

Applicants must be 18 and older and pass a background check. Elgin residents and those who work in Elgin will be given priority.

Applications for the free program are available at the department's Community Relations/Crime Prevention Division or at the city's website. Call Crime Prevention Specialist Christy Schmidt at (847) 289-2588 for more information.

Sheriff endorses sheriff's group: Kane County Sheriff Pat Perez has urged residents and businesses to become associate members of the Illinois Sheriffs' Association for as little as $20 a year. For more information, call (217) 753-2372 or visit

"With government funding becoming increasingly difficult to secure, the membership drive has taken on greater importance than before," he said.

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