The police chief in the town of Minooka said his department abandoning placing body cameras on its police officers saying it has become burdensome for his staff to keep up for requests for video footage.
According to the Morris Herald News, the cameras were supplied to the department’s 15 uniformed officers beginning last July as part of a 60- to 90-day trial run which ended up running until January of this year.
Minooka Police Chief Justin Meyer said he was happy with the cameras but dismayed with what he felt were excessive requests for footage from suspects and their lawyers.
“It just became a bit burdensome for our administrative staff,” Meyer explained.
According to department policy, officers were required to turn the cameras on during any law enforcement situation whether it was directing traffic or being dispatched to the scene of a crime.
After returning to the station house, video from the cameras was then downloaded and stored.
Describing how police headquarters staffers were overwhelmed with requests, Meyers suggested a likely scenario.
“You could have four officers on a call for a domestic incident,” Meyer said. “If they are on scene for an hour – whether there’s an arrest or not – that’s four hours of video that has to be uploaded.”
Last year the Illinois legislature issued rules and standards for using body cameras but did not mandate that police departments use the technology.
Demand for the use of body cameras by police departments has grown in the wake of several high profile incidents involving law enforcement officers — many resulting in assaults or deadly shootings.