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Video cameras will soon be installed in Elburn police cars

ELBURN – Elburn will soon spend approximately $4,000 to outfit its four frontline patrol cars with video cameras, based on a discussion at the Dec. 4 Village Board meeting. The cost will include the installation of the cameras, as well as training for the officers in how to use the cameras.

WatchGuard, the manufacturer that currently has the contract with the state of Illinois for its vehicles, is the vendor of choice for this purchase. WatchGuard cameras provide the widest field of view for the primary camera of 68 degrees, as well as a panoramic view camera with a “ditch line to ditch line” view of 130 degrees, Police Chief Nick Sikora said.

The cameras also will include audio recording with a wireless microphone that would be worn by officers.

“I’m a very big believer in those video cameras,” Sikora said. “I have seen the benefit of them. They can really work to absolve officers of wrongful complaints."

In addition, he said that the courts like them for driving under the influence arrests because field sobriety tests can be recorded. For these and regular stops for speeding or stop sign violations, interactions between the officer and the driver would also be recorded, as well as pre-event recording.

The recording device would be set to automatically kick in once the vehicle’s emergency lights are turned on. Officers also would be able to manually begin recording in situations such as following a driver they suspect of driving under the influence.

Trustee Dave Gualdoni asked that Sikora find out what the cost would be to add the capability of radar recording to the system. This could be synced with the video recording, with the radar recordings documented on the screen.

The proposal, including this option, will come before the board at a future meeting for approval. There is $40,000 in the budget to pay for the system.

The village will also spend $6,500 to purchase five automated external defibrillators, one for each of the two on-duty patrol cars, and one each for Village Hall, the Public Works building and the wastewater treatment facility.

The vendor of choice was Zoll Second Chance Cardiac Solutions, in order to have standardized equipment in the Elburn and Countryside Fire Protection District and the Elburn Police Department.

Funding for the Police Department AEDs is in the budget, while money for the additional three systems to be placed in village buildings is not. However, the board agreed that purchasing the equipment together would be preferable, as training and certification for all five can then be done at the same time. The additional funding can be approved in a future budget amendment.

This purchase will also come before the board for approval at a future meeting.

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