A complete upgrade to the West Dundee Police Department's obsolete security camera system can now take place, thanks to a unanimous vote Monday night from village board.
The village board approved outfitting the police station with 23 cameras that will meet security standards by storing a lot more footage than the 10 cameras that are already in place.
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West Dundee Police Chief Andy Wieteska has had the system upgrade at the top of his list of priorities for years, but the village couldn't act on it due to budgeting issues.
But a property tax increase the board approved last year finally gave the village the money to move forward with the overhaul that costs $52,800.
"That's an absolute need," Wieteska said before the vote. "We're kind of rolling the dice by not getting this done."
Officials say 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.
The current system was installed seven or eight years ago. The existing cameras 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."
Officials will not release the amount of time the old and new cameras are capable of storing, pointing to security concerns.
The new cameras should be up and running by the end of this year, Wieteska said.
Meanwhile, the board will consider additional police department security measures at a later date.
Those phases would involve adding an emergency control system in the police department's vestibule, installing an interview video system and an access control system that uses swipe cards, and duress alarm control, work that is estimated to cost $59,900.