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Local News

Will County Sheriff's Office explores buying body cameras for over 200 deputies

The Will County Sheriff's Office on Thursday, July 19, 2018, in Joliet, Ill.
The Will County Sheriff's Office on Thursday, July 19, 2018, in Joliet, Ill.

The Will County Sheriff’s Office is exploring buying body cameras for its 212 deputies.

Members of the Will County Board Finance Committee discussed the matter during a virtual meeting on Thursday.

A document provided to the committee showed the cost for buying the cameras and storage for deputies would be about $1.3 million over five years.

“We’re trying to get more in line with what’s going on in the country,” Undersheriff Brian Conser told members of the committee. “So all our people are transparent and there will be no questions about what occurred on calls for service”

Conser said even after the cameras are bought, the county would still pay for storage of video. He said the cost of storage is “probably the most expensive aspect of having body cams.”

Some committee members asked whether the cost of buying cameras could be covered by some of the money the county received via the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security, or CARES, Act.

Karen Hennessy, the county’s finance director, told the committee that the consultant the county hired to dole out CARES Act funds determined such a purchase would not qualify because it was unrelated to the pandemic.

But recently, officials have discussed using the remaining money allocated for county government to reimburse public safety salary costs in order to spend the money before the Dec. 30 deadline.

That would free up money in the county’s corporate fund to use on other expenses, such as the body cameras and potentially a new morgue.

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