Naperville Police Department Starts Recording with Body Cameras

Naperville Police Chief Jason Arres
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Body cameras may start recording as soon as Tuesday for the Naperville Police Department.

Naperville Police Chief Jason Arres

Naperville Police Chief Jason Arres wearing a new body camera.

“Our folks are excited to have the cameras,” said Naperville Police Chief Jason Arres. “This is the expectation of law enforcement and the best way to do business. “

Arres said beginning the week of May 16 the police department will start training with camera system provider, Axon. 20 officers who will become trainers or subject matter experts will receive four hours of training and then rest of the force will receive two hours of training for camera operation. The goal is to have all 177 sworn officers trained and wearing the cameras by the end of June.

How does the body camera work?

Body Camera

The body camera all sworn Naperville Police Officers will be wearing by the end of June.

At the start of every shift the officer picks up a body camera that is individually assigned to them. Once the camera is activated, it will continually record video only, with the recording on a loop that is overwritten every 18 hours.

The officer must tap the center of the camera to activate both audio and video, creating an event. This will be done every time they are responding to a call or engaged in any type of proactive police work. Audio is also automatically activated when an officer flips on the police car’s lights and siren. The officer must stop the event to pause the audio.

Events contain a shield at the start and stop of that record, to protect it until it can be saved. At the end of a shift the camera is placed in a dock and the camera is charged.  That’s when the events recorded by the officer are uploaded to the cloud.

If an officer forgets to create an event during a traffic stop or other type of relevant police activity, the video capture will still be available for upload, as long as it is done within that 18-hour record window.

How will the video be used?

“The police are the middle party when we investigate anything,” said Arres. “The cameras provide the best evidence He said the video also provides an opportunity for training and officer accountability. The cameras can also live stream and provide an extra level of safety to both police and residents in potentially dangerous situations.

The Naperville City Council approved the $2.3 million purchase last February for both body worn and in-car camera systems. The department chose Axon, currently used by more than 161 Illinois departments as its vendor.

“The community, elected officials and city support to get this done, it’s a huge thank you from me to them because it’s an expensive undertaking but a very necessary one, “said Arres.

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