McHenry County Council Approves Body Cameras for Sheriff’s Office – Shaw Local

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After more than a year of work, the McHenry County Sheriff’s Office is getting body cameras.

McHenry County Council on Tuesday approved a contract to secure 107 body cameras for the sheriff’s office, as well as 80 dash cams.

Officials expect the cameras to be deployed by midsummer, several months ahead of the state’s January 2023 deadline. Deputy Robb Tadelman said the move will allow the agency to train its deputies and resolve issues before the deadline.

Tadelman said he expects the devices to help deputies in a number of ways, including helping close cases, answering questions that may arise about an officer’s integrity and showcasing the work they do.

“We are thrilled with this opportunity,” Tadelman said. “We have the utmost confidence in our assistants that they’re doing a good job there and I think that’s just another tool for us to show the good work we’re doing.”

The item was approved as part of the county council’s consent agenda on Tuesday, with little discussion among council members about the new contract. On Thursday, County Council Chairman Mike Buehler, R-Crystal Lake, said he was pleased the county exceeded state requirements, calling the cameras popular. Although he noted their limitations, calling them a 2D look at a 3D world.

“I think overall it’s great for public safety and the safety of our men on the streets as well,” Buehler said.

The contract is for five years through Axon Enterprise, Inc., with a total cost of just under $2.1 million. That brings the annual total to around $418,000. Initially, funding will come from federal funds received through the American Recovery Plan Act. Buehler said the county will eventually have to find a way to fund it itself.

“It’s something we’re going to have to deal with,” he said. “It’s no different than any other unfunded state mandate we’ve faced over the past two years.”

Options chosen in the contract include the Core+ plan, which offers a different type of electronic stun gun and unlimited-use cartridges, costing about $20 more per month per user, according to County Hardware.

The second package, for vehicles, is the Fleet 3 Advanced program, which includes hardware updated every five years, a live streaming service called Axon Respond and automatic license plate readers, as well as basic information on county broadcasts. This option costs about $80 more per vehicle per month than the basic package.

The cameras come more than a year after Illinois lawmakers passed a law requiring police departments across the state to have body cameras by 2025. Tadelman, however, said efforts to get the devices predate it, claiming it was not a “knee kick”. reaction” to the law.

The road to the contract was paved with many hurdles, Tadelman said, including issues with storage, and subsequently the cost of that, as well as the staff to run the program and prepare the footage to meet the demands of the Freedom of Information Act. Device testing and certification, as well as training, are all items on the checklist needed to deploy the cameras as well, he said.

“You’re talking about a $2.1 million project that we need to tackle,” Tadelman said. “This is not a small article…. It’s not fair, click a finger and you get body cameras and everything is fine. There’s a lot of work that goes with it. »

Tadelman said the images will belong to the sheriff’s office and will be publicly available through FOIA. He said Axon will not have access to the images and any images not classified as evidence will be deleted after 90 days.

Councilman Michael Vijuk, D-Cary, on Tuesday thanked Sheriff Bill Prim and his team for their efforts and asked for monthly device reports.

“Our county has been remarkably successful in this effort and I hope we can continue to work collaboratively toward further measures that would safely protect our citizens in this county,” he said.

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