Illinois Central College will equip its 32 campus police and security officers with body-worn cameras, effective February 29. The ICC Police Department is believed to be the first department in the area to equip all of its officers with body-worn camera technology.
An Illinois law which took effect as of January 1, 2016, governs officer body-worn camera use. The ICC Board of Trustees unanimously approved at their December meeting the purchase and use of the cameras on all campuses.
“This new policy reflects our continued commitment toward the safety and security of students, employees and visitors,” said ICC Interim President Bruce Budde. “Its intention is to further enhance the sense of trust and mutual respect between our officers and the campus community and provide an appropriate balance between the benefits of body camera usage and respect for individuals’ privacy rights.”
Officers are given the choice of wearing a wireless model which clips to the center of the shirt or pocket or a wired model which is mounted on the shirt collar. Both models will be clearly labeled as cameras.
“Officer body-worn cameras are an efficient method of increasing transparency and accountability and an effective way to improve citizen and officer safety and provide impartial documentation of officer interaction with the public we serve,” said ICC Police Chief Tom Larson. “We see a trend toward increased officer body-cam usage, and we appreciate the ICC leadership being pro-active in implementing this policy for the protection of our students and employees.”
After researching various brands, the College selected Taser International’s Axon brand cameras, which integrate seamlessly with the video-equipped Tasers the officers have carried since 2013.