Area Police Officers are getting a new five-ounce piece of equipment to wear on their uniforms starting Friday. The first group of 20 to 30 officers were fitted and receiving training to wear the cameras.
Interim Peoria Police Chief Loren Marion says the 360 body cameras were purchased with a Department of Justice grant. The $253-thousand grant provided body cameras for the Peoria Police Department as well as East Peoria Police Department, the Peoria County Sheriff’s Department and Peoria Park District Police.
Chief Marion says the Peoria Police Department is using 240 of the cameras. Each officer is being assigned one of devices that has a 10-hour battery life. Marion says they also have spares for when an officer has a longer shift.
“I know the process has been long. But it is an important tool. One of the things we do is try to build police and community relation and I think this is going to be tool that is definitely going to help that and I think it’s going to change behavior on both sides,” says Marion.
The Peoria Police Officers will download their video to a server at the end of every shift. A Peoria police employee will handle Freedom of Information Requests and any video redacting that is necessary, including footage that includes minors.