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Government

QCs Police Gradually Begin Wearing Body Cameras

It may not be long before body cameras are standard equipment for most local police officers.

Michelle O'Neill reports police in Bettendorf started two months ago, and other Quad Cities departments are looking at their options.
Summary

Rock Island Police Chief, Jeff VenHuizen, recently told the city council a system with 65 cameras will cost about 165,000 dollars the first year, with annual expenses around 86,000 after that. And he hopes Rock Island will order the cameras before the end of the year, and start testing them next winter.

Bettendorf Police Captain, Keith Kimball, says after wearing body cameras for two months, officers like them, and the department is working out a few equipment glitches. But Kimball also wants to teach people that bodycams have limits and are not the "THE" answer. "If the officer looks left or right, the camera doesn't record that. It's still pointing the same way as the officer's body."

Captain Kimball and Chief VenHuizen both say body-worn cameras are one more tool to help law enforcement do its job.

VenHuizen says the Rock Island Police Department is taking the lead in the Illinois Quad Cities, and will be the first to buy a body camera system.

Davenport police are developing policies and plan to start field testing in the fall. And the Scott County bailiffs and officers who work in the jail already use body cameras. Next month, the sheriff's department plans to add bodycams to its in-car video system. Currently, body-worn cameras are not part of Illinois and Iowa State troopers' gear for a variety of reasons, but mainly it's a lack of money.

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