Helping local police departments pay for body cameras if they become mandatory is the aim of legislation sponsored by State Sen. Tim Bivins (R-Dixon).
As the former Lee County Sheriff, Sen. Bivins said requiring police officers to wear body cameras has been discussed as a practical solution to protect both the public and law enforcement officers. Recent events in Ferguson, Missouri and similar situations that highlighted incidents of police and civilian violence have spurred increased interest in body-worn cameras. Many believe these cameras would provide an objective record of events if an alleged crime takes place, and also deter violence.
Sen. Bivins’ proposed legislation, Senate Bill 710, would allow grants from the state’s existing Law Enforcement Camera Grant Fund to be used to purchase and support use of video cameras (including body-worn cameras) for law enforcement and for training officers. Senate Bill 710 has been assigned to the Senate Criminal Law Committee for consideration.