Police depts. examine storage needs for body cam footage

Published: Aug. 4, 2022 at 10:20 PM CDT
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(WIFR) - As more law enforcement officers in the stateline get body cameras, the Boone County State’s Attorney’s Office worries they won’t have enough space to house all the footage.

The office manages enough space for body camera footage from the Belvidere Police Department. Now that Illinois State Police and the Boone County Sheriff’s Department prepare for body cameras, county officials want to plan for more storage space.

“Right now, the state’s attorney’s office in the county generally can’t make that a very efficient process,” says Karla Maville with the State’s Attorney’s Office.

To store body camera footage from the Belvidere Police Department, the Boone County State’s Attorney’s Office transfers it from CDs to E-Discovery. But it could get complicated with more agencies in need of space to store video.

“That saves our office some money, but that also kind of strains our system, because that requires more data and faster technology as well,” says Maville.

Currently, it takes the county hours to download footage from police and review the footage, which comes with glitches. Maville wants upgraded capabilities to make this a smoother process for Boone county. Which could cost them a large sum of money.

“How we take care of that storage is going to be dependent upon what our needs are at the time. Our IT people are professionals in those industries tell us,” says Boone County Chairman Karl Johnson.

In Winnebago County, State’s Attorney J. Hanley says they run into the same problem with cloud-based storage.

“You can’t slap a camera on every police officer’s body and not have some issues that affect not only law enforcement but the prosecutor’s house and the court system generally,” says Hanley.

Hanley says the goal is for them to also include additional evidence like photos into this database. Without sufficient space, it makes the prosecutor’s job harder.

“It doesn’t tell the entire story but it’s pretty darn good evidence. Most cases we are taking now or prosecuting, in general, have some kind of video evidence,” says Hanley.

The next step with the Boone County State’s Attorney’s Office is to meet with the IT Department to determine their best course of action.

Maville says faster storage can save attorney’s a significant amount of time to review the evidence and work on further cases.

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