Newscasts

PNS Daily Newscast - July 18, 2018 


Trump now says he misspoke as he stood side by side with Putin. Also on the Wednesday rundown: a Senate committee looks to weaken the Endangered Species Act; and public input is being sought on Great Lakes restoration.

Daily Newscasts

Privacy and Safety a Concern as Illinois Considers Police Body Cameras

PHOTO: The ACLU of Illinois says important safety and privacy guidelines are needed before the use of body cameras by police enforcement are widely-used throughout the state. Photo courtesy U.S. Department of Justice.
PHOTO: The ACLU of Illinois says important safety and privacy guidelines are needed before the use of body cameras by police enforcement are widely-used throughout the state. Photo courtesy U.S. Department of Justice.
September 16, 2014

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. - In the aftermath of the violence in Ferguson, Missouri, state leaders in Illinois are contemplating the use of police body cameras for better oversight of law enforcement. Some say important guidelines are needed to protect both police officers and citizens.

Ed Yohnka, communications and public policy director with the ACLU of Illinois say if implemented appropriately, police body cameras can be a positive tool.

"It can be a situation where we're getting the kind of oversight that people want, and at the same time we're probably going to be reducing frivolous claims against police," says Yohnka. "But we need to do this right in the first instance in order to achieve that goal."

Yohnka says the most important recommendation is that officers always notify people when they are recording. Meanwhile, when and what should be recorded has been widely debated. Some suggest the cameras stay on throughout an officer's shift, which Yohnka says would violate the privacy of the officer. Instead, the ACLU recommends police record all interactions with civilians, so there is no situation where the option to record is up to the officer's discretion.

Once recordings are made, the ACLU recommends they only be kept for 90 days unless an encounter has been flagged, like an arrest or the use of force.

"Any recording that is not flagged should never be released to the public," says Yohnka. "So there's a control over that and you don't have pictures of people who are having police interactions because they are inebriated or show up on YouTube for some other reason."

Yohnka says any person who is recorded, or their representative, should have access to any flagged recording, as well as members of the general public. He adds that recordings should be shared with other government agencies only when they contain evidence of crime or are relevant to an ongoing investigation.

Two Illinois lawmakers last week suggested increases in traffic fines to raise money for police body cameras.

Mary Kuhlman, Public News Service - IL