Mundelein cops to get new body cameras

  • Mundelein police have worn body cameras -- such as the one then-Police Chief Eric Guenther has here -- since 2017. The village board agreed to purchase new ones Monday night.

      Mundelein police have worn body cameras -- such as the one then-Police Chief Eric Guenther has here -- since 2017. The village board agreed to purchase new ones Monday night. Russell Lissau | Staff Photographer, 2017

 
 
Updated 6/14/2022 10:19 AM

Five years after Mundelein police officers became among the first in Illinois to deploy body-worn cameras, the department soon will get new ones.

The village board on Monday agreed to purchase 56 cameras, 13 in-car video systems and 53 stun guns at a cost of roughly $638,570 over five years from Axon, the Arizona company that made the camera the department uses now. The cost for the first year will be $127,682, documents indicate.

 

The deal includes five-year warranties and camera replacements at the midway and five-year mark.

In a memo, Police Chief John Monahan said the cameras have provided a "tremendous benefit" in their five years of service. They provide transparency and accountability to the public, ensure safe interactions with people and protect the village from complaints and legal liability, he said.

They've also provided "invaluable video evidence" in prosecutions, Monahan said -- 372 last year alone.

The new cameras should be here in July.

The Axon cameras are roughly the size of a deck of playing cards. Officers clip them to their uniform shirts near the chest.

The cameras have a 12-hour battery life and are rechargeable. They film everything unless deactivated by an officer.

The cameras automatically erase footage unless officers manually activate them to keep recording.

Videos are temporarily saved on internal hard drives and then uploaded wirelessly to cloud-based servers. The police department doesn't store anything locally.

Footage is accessible to officers and attorneys, as well as the public through the Freedom of Information Act.

Police in Antioch, Gurnee, Des Plaines, Aurora and Wheaton are among those in other suburbs who are equipped with body cameras.

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