West Dundee leaders will consider a partial overhaul of the police department's security system Monday that officials say would bring it up to date with current standards and limit the village's exposure to potential lawsuits.
The current system was installed between seven and eight years ago. It has 10 digital cameras in the department that don't store as much footage as officials would like and cannot be upgraded. Moreover, according to a village memo, its images are "poor and in the case of holding cells, entirely blurred and obstructed."
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"It's just entirely insufficient," Police Chief Andy Wieteska said.
The first phase involves the installation of 23 cameras inside and outside of the police department. Those cameras would meet the current security standards by storing a lot more footage than the old ones do.
Citing security concerns, officials are not releasing the amount of time the old and new cameras are capable of storing.
Wieteska said the new system would help the village defend itself against allegations of police misconduct and brutality by recording more footage from interrogations and other police procedures.
"It's not a want, it's a need," Wieteska said of the upgrade. "One false claim that turns into a lawsuit will cost us more than the $50,000 we're requesting."
Phase one costs $52,800 and is the main piece the board will consider funding Monday. Trustees also have the option of adding an emergency control system in the police department's vestibule for $2,900.
Later phases would involve an interview video system, an access control system that uses of swipe cards and duress alarm control. That work is estimated to cost $57,000.
Wieteska has wanted to update the system for years, but the village couldn't act on it due to budgeting issues. A property tax increase the board approved last year finally gives the village the money to move forward with the improvements, Village Manager Joe Cavallaro said.