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Illinois has Enacted a New Body Cam Video Preservation Law 2016

January 1, 2016 Illinois enacted the Law Enforcement Officer - Worn Body Camera Act (50 ILCS 706/10-1, Et. Seq.)  The law does not mandate usage of body cams.  It does however define what duties departments utilizing cams must follow.  The law does not provide a specific penalty for the departments' failure to comply with the Act.  However, it does state that such failure may give the defendant the remedy of mentioning same to a finder of fact when determining what amount of consideration may be afforded that period of time and its events. 

I believe the law fails in two major respects.  First, the Act should have mandated all departments adopt immediate usage of body cams.  Secondly, the Act should have included sanctions such as stated in People v. Kladis being applicable specifically in situations where the Act is not complied with. 

In Madison County as of 4/22/16 there are only three (3) departments currently using body cameras.  The departments are three of the smaller departments.  If the intent of the Act is to provide video for police / citizen interactions it does not cause the vast majority of departments to record the events. 

Brian L. Polinske
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