The Naperville Police Department (NPD) is in the early stages of implementing a body-worn camera program that will equip all sworn officers with body-worn camera technology before the end of 2022.
Body-worn cameras are valuable tools for law enforcement because they capture and record video and audio of police incidents and encounters with the public. Use of these cameras in Naperville to document interactions with the public will provide a valuable new type of evidence and improve transparency with the community.
While NPD believes that the use of these cameras will significantly benefit both the community and its officers, no technology is a perfect solution for all situations. Body-worn cameras have limitations and do not provide the totality of the circumstances that drive an officer’s response to a particular situation. However, NPD believes the community and its officers will benefit from their use when used in combination with other existing tools, like in-car cameras and formal incident reports.
State law requires law enforcement agencies serving a community of Naperville’s size to implement the use of body cameras by January 1, 2023. Naperville is currently on track to meet this requirement. Here is the current project timeline:
- Policy development – Summer 2021
- Vendor trials – Fall 2021
- Procurement – Spring 2022
- Training and full implementation – Fall 2022
Beginning Aug. 31, 2021, the Naperville Police Department is field testing body-worn camera equipment from several camera vendors on a rotational basis for the purpose of evaluating both the cameras and the software that will be utilized to share, store and redact video.
This trial period is expected to last eight to 10 weeks and includes support staff and 26 sworn officers from the department’s Patrol and Investigations Divisions. Due to shift work and the number of cameras NPD is receiving from each vendor, NPD anticipates there will typically be four to six body-worn cameras on the street at any one time during the trial.
During the trial, cameras will be fully operational, and officers will follow state law governing the use of body-worn cameras.
The State of Illinois’ Law Enforcement Officer-Worn Body Camera Act dictates that body-worn cameras must be turned on whenever an on-duty, uniformed officer is responding to calls for service or engaged in any law-enforcement related encounter or activity. Certain exceptions do apply and can be found within the public act linked above.
State law also dictates when an officer must stop recording, such as when asked to do so by a victim, witness or someone wishing to report a crime or when dealing with a confidential informant. Again, certain exceptions apply. It is also important to note that if when an officer is lawfully present in any location conducting official duties, he/she can also capture video. This includes private property.
When in locations where a person has reasonable expectation of privacy (i.e. dressing rooms, restrooms), officers are required by law to give notice that they are recording as soon as practical.
Questions, comments or concerns about the Naperville Police Department’s body-worn camera program should be directed to the Naperville Police Department’s Public Information Officer at NPDPIO@naperville.il.us.