Rockford Police will get body cameras in the fall due to training delay
ROCKFORD – Body-worn cameras will be deployed to officers at the Rockford Police Department this fall, about six weeks later than planned.
Rockford has already received its cargo of 320 body worn cameras. The purchase was approved by Rockford City Council in a $ 3.4 million contract with Axon Enterprise Inc, based in Scottsdale, Arizona.
But the technical work behind the scenes to install the hardware needed to store and preserve evidence is complex. And demand for body cameras across the country is so high that the necessary training provided by the manufacturer, which was due to begin later this month, has been pushed back to October, Deputy Chief Kurt Whisenand said.
âAs you can imagine, every department in the country, or most of the departments, are studying body-worn cameras,â Whisenand said. âSo the on-site training that the company has to provide before they can implement the program has been delayed because there are so many other customers from so many other departments. “
In addition to the body-worn cameras themselves, the contract with Axon provides for the replacement over time of 120 on-board patrol car cameras and the installation of the necessary equipment and software to extract, store and use all the data. digital produced by cameras.
The five-year contract includes the replacement and upgrade of the body cameras after three years to the latest version of the technology.
The body cameras will require additional training for nearly 300 sworn police officers on how to use the devices. They will also be trained on the laws, policies and procedures regarding their use. However, after the first round of training, Rockford Police in-house training staff will be able to train new officers themselves.
Body cameras were a early request of protesters here protesting the May 2020 murder of George Floyd by a Minneapolis police officer.
Rockford commanders and officers of the Police Benevolent and Protective Association Unit 6 which represents the Rockford Police officers supported their implementation. And they were advised by members of the Rockford Community Relations Commission.