Bloomingdale police to be equipped with body cameras
The Bloomingdale Police Department will equip its officers with body cameras within the next month.
The police department has purchased 49 body cameras from Watch Guard Video for $93,265. The vendor previously supplied the dashboard cameras in police squad cars, as well.
Bloomingdale's Director of Public Safety Frank Giammarese said the department welcomes the cameras and hopes they will increase transparency and safety.
He said that although the decision to implement body cameras has been in the works for months, recent protests and clashes involving police departments nationwide makes the move more important.
"I'm disturbed by the current state of affairs in our society," Giammarese said. "It's unfortunate that people have lost faith in law enforcement. I just wish that things were equitable across the board for everyone."
The cameras are clipped onto a police officer's uniform to record law enforcement encounters with the public.
"We want to make sure that we are protecting our staff and the general public," Giammarese said. "It's beneficial for the officers to have them and also beneficial for the public to have the transparency."
Bloomingdale plans to follow Illinois protocols for body cameras. Officers will have them turned on while on duty and while wearing any visible gear that indicates they are a police officer as well as when they are responding to a call or engaging in law enforcement activity.
Cameras are to be turned off when the victim of a crime recorded in the footage requests it or when a witness to a crime or a community member who wishes to report a crime requests that the camera be turned off.
Footage will be reviewed internally unless a high level offense takes place that results in an independent review.
• Trey Arline is a corps member with Report for America, a national service program that places journalists into local newsrooms.