Palos Park Police Chief Joe Miller said that small town chiefs in the state are worried about the funding for bodycams. (Photo by Jeff Vorva)

Palos Park Police Chief Joe Miller said that small town chiefs in the state are worried about the funding for bodycams. (Photo by Jeff Vorva)

Palos Park police chief and commissioner concerned about bodycam funding

By Jeff Vorva

Palos Park police officers will be required by the state to wear body cameras starting Jan. 1, 2025, but what happens in the coming weeks is of great interest to Police Chief Joe Miller and Police Commissioner Dan Polk.

There is an obvious cost in providing these cameras to the cops but there is additional expenses on storing and editing the footage on these cameras. Miller and Polk are interested in seeing how much the state is willing to pay communities.

Bodycams were implemented in January for municipalities with populations of 500,000 or more. Those which populations of 100,000-500,000 will start this coming Jan. 1.

Miller has met with other chiefs in communities the size of Palos Park and they share similar concerns about the state’s funding for these expenses.

“It’s an issue that will be taken up in the fall veto session,” he said at Monday’s village council meeting. “The cameras themselves, the collection of the data and the storage of the data have a cost and the bigger issue is the redaction of the video because there will be personal information we can’t give out.

“Someone is going to have to redact that.”

Polk that the person used doing the redacting and editing will have to be tech savvy, which could lead to hiring a third party.

“We were promised a source of funding for that,” Polk said. “And we have yet to see any indication that it will actually be funded.”

After the meeting, Polk said he is keeping an eye on the communities who are required to have the bodycams in 2023 and how they are funded.

“Our fear is that if they don’t get this sorted out by then, if there isn’t help for them, the chances that there will be help for us will be zilch,” Polk said. “All of the chiefs are very much concerned about whether or not the promise is actually going to be delivered.”

Trick or treat hours

Polk said that there are no trick or treat hours set in the village on Oct. 31.

He said that if people want to give out candy, they can leave their porch lights on. He suggests that trick or treaters avoid going to houses that have the outdoor lights off.

Water works

The council approved an ordinance borrowing funds from the Public Water Supply Loan Program for a $2.3 million project to improve the village’s system, including water main construction along McCarthy Road.

New library trustee

The council voted Terry Kachinsky to fill a vacancy on the Palos Park Library Board in a term that will last until June 1, 2025.

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