Rockford City Council Approves Grant to Allow Dash Cams in All Police Cars
Monday evening City Council voted unanimously to approve a grant that will fund more dash cams for the Rockford Police Department.
This will help the department reach its goal of having over 120 cameras on the road by the end of this year. Which is something Chief Dan O'Shea has been working towards since taking over in 2016.
Rockford Police Chief O'Shea told MyStateline.com:
I’m very excited by the end of the year we’ll have everyone of the marked cars out there with an in car camera.”,
A special council meeting was called by the Rockford City Council to approve the $250,000 state grant to equip every squad and unmarked car in the Rockford Police Department with a dash cam.
Currently, there are 82 cars that have dash cams, but now with the grant being approved on Monday, the Rockford Police Department is one step closer to reaching their goal.
Chief O'Shea has said that this technology has already proved its worth:
Most beneficial obviously for traffic stops, or going to crashes, or going to calls. As I said it’s helped us, we’ve actually captured suspect vehicles leaving some scenes."
Some city officials say that the cameras are very helpful but some warn that this technology won't solve all problems.
First Ward Alderman, Tim Durkee said:
Remember the camera has to be pointed in the right direction. The camera doesn’t see through cars. It doesn’t see everything"
When an officer turns on their lights the camera will save the previous minute and will continue to record until the officer turns the lights off.
These recordings can keep officers safe and answer questions in cases, like those of fallen Officer Jaimie Cox.
Chief O'Shea commented on that as well:
Obviously that incident we really wish we had a camera.” He continued, “for the officers it actually provides a means of protection against wrongful complaints. It provides us the opportunity to correct any training issue we might come across with an officer. Sergeants are required to randomly spot check videos once a month.”