Frequently Asked Questions
Why does NPD have body-worn cameras?
The Naperville Police Department utilizes body-worn cameras to:
- Improve the quality of investigations and criminal prosecution through evidence the body-worn cameras record
- Promote officer safety while safeguarding the rights and privacy of community members
- Improve training by using video review to discuss police incidents, response and tactics with our personnel
- Improve transparency with the public
- Strengthen community trust and accountability by preserving impartial accounts of officer and citizen interactions.
When will officers be recording with their body-worn cameras?
According to Illinois law, the camera must be turned on at all times when an on-duty, uniformed officer is responding to a call for service or engaged in law enforcement activities. Certain exceptions do apply and can be found in the law.
Does an officer have to stop recording if I ask him/her to?
It depends. If you are the victim or witness of a crime, you have the right to ask the officer to stop recording. However, even in those situations, an officer may continue to record or start recording again if exigent circumstances exist or the officer has the reasonable suspicion that you may be involved in a crime.
Can officers record inside my home?
Yes. If an officer is conducting official business and has a legal right to be somewhere, he/she can also capture video. This includes private property.
How do I know if I am being captured on video?
Department policy specifies that the camera must be worn on the officer’s outermost garment, so it will be clearly visible to the public. If you encounter an officer who is responding to a call for service or engaged in other official police activity, it’s safe to assume you’re being recorded.
What happens to a video once it is recorded?
By law, recordings made on a body-worn camera must be retained for 90 days. Videos will be stored through a secure, cloud-based service in compliance with federal Criminal Justice Information System (CJIS) standards. After the 90 days, all recordings must be destroyed unless they are flagged as being part of a criminal, civil or administrative investigation. Flagged recordings are kept indefinitely, or until the department receives a court order from a judge ordering its destruction.
Who has access to the videos?
All recorded media, images and audio are property of the Naperville Police Department. State law and department policy outline who within the department can access body-worn camera footage and when.
Who can obtain a copy of the body-worn camera video?
The release of body-worn camera footage is governed by Illinois law. Any public request for videos will be vetted with the City’s legal team and FOIA officers to determine whether the department has a legal obligation to release the footage.
Are officers trained on the use of the cameras?
Yes. Prior to being assigned a body-worn camera, officers attend mandatory training that covers the use of the body-worn camera system, State law and department policy.
Can I see the department’s body-worn camera policy?
Yes. Naperville’s body-worn camera policy is available to the public on its website, www.naperville.il.us/bwc.