Body-Worn Cameras

Beginning May 2022, the Village of Flossmoor Police Department began a Body-Worn Camera program for the entire Police Department. Nationwide, the use of body-worn cameras has become a common practice for police departments and seven states now mandate statewide use of body-worn cameras by law enforcement officers. As part of the criminal justice reform bill HB 3653, recently signed by Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker, Illinois requires every police officer in the state to wear a body camera by 2025.

Law enforcement agencies use body-worn cameras for a number of different reasons, including improving evidence collection, strengthening officer performance and accountability, enhancing transparency, and assisting in the investigation of complaints, among others. Studies have shown that the presence of a body-worn camera has a positive effect on the behavior of both officers and citizens during encounters [Police Executive Research Forum; 2014]. A body-worn camera is another of many tools available to an officer, but it should not be considered a total solution.

Flossmoor Police Department Body-worn Camera Policy

Frequently Asked Questions

  1. Why is FPD implementing the use of body cameras at this time?

Seven states now mandate the statewide use of body-worn cameras by law enforcement officers. Those states are Colorado, Connecticut, Illinois, Maryland, New Jersey, New Mexico and South Carolina. As part of the criminal justice reform bill HB 3653 recently signed by Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker, every police officer in the state will be required to wear a body camera by 2025. 

Among the police executives whose departments use body-cameras, there is an overall perception that the cameras provide a useful tool for law enforcement. These agencies cite perceived benefits that include capturing video of critical incidents and encounters with the public, strengthening public accountability, and providing a valuable new type of evidence. [Police Executive Research Forum; published 2014]

The Flossmoor Police Department BWC policy is available for review in its entirety below.

  1. How will residents know if an officer is using the camera correctly? When should the camera be turned on and how will I know if it’s on?
  1. I understand that body camera video has been a key tool for enhancing transparency in policing and providing crucial information in use of force incidents. How can I view the video if I’m involved in such an incident or one of my family is involved?
  1. Will FPD officers have specific instructions for when to start recording, when to announce recording and consequences of not following those instructions?
  1. What consequences will there be for an officer who doesn’t hit record according to policy, announce filming, or stops recording?
  1. Will the new cameras be body cams only, or new dashboard cameras, also?
  1. I’ve heard it’s very expensive to purchase cameras and other costs associated with cameras. How will these cameras affect FPD expenses and budget? And will costs be passed on to residents in some way?
  1. What kind of training will officers receive before actually using the cameras on duty?
  1. What happens if I suspect an officer has turned off the camera or never turned it on? Am I allowed to say anything to him/her?
  1. Sometimes police officers interview witnesses. Will the cameras be used during those interviews? What if I don’t want my face to be shown?
  1. How will I know whether FPD is following procedures recommended nationally or by nearby municipalities? What happens when a neighboring police department uses a different procedure?
  1. How are procedures different for emergency calls vs. non-emergency calls?
  1. How will data from body cameras be matched with officers’ incident reports?
  1. Who will check the accuracy of how the FPD interacts with the public?
  1. Will there be an auto record feature on the FPD cameras?
  1. Will the body cam video include audio?
  1. How will video be stored and how long? Will a FOIA request be required to view video?
  1. How have body cameras affected police accountability or the number of complaints about police?