Geneva panel recommends $400K contract for police body-worn cameras

Amount to be paid out over 5 years to comply with amended state law.

GENEVA – Geneva alderpersons, acting as the Committee of the Whole, voted unanimously Monday to recommend spending more than $400,000 for police to have body-worn cameras, vehicle cameras and supporting software.

City Administrator Stephanie Dawkins said the proposed purchase was to comply with the Illinois SAFE-T Act, which amended another law requiring municipalities with populations under 50,000 to implement body-worn cameras for all law enforcement by 2025.

“The fiscal year 2024 budget includes funds for the purchase of body-worn cameras, police vehicle cameras and supporting software to satisfy this unfunded mandate,” Dawkins said.

The recommended purchase is from Axon, through a purchasing agreement with the Sourcewell Cooperative Purchasing Group.

The total cost will be $404,703.34 at an annual cost of $83,114.04 per year over five years.

Fourth Ward Alderperson Martha Paschke asked why they did not budget for an additional $4,333 per year for an electronic means of surveying the public via paper.

“I see what it does and my sense is that for $4,000 for a year – if you guys are sending out paper surveys to people that you are serving – I feel like this would be an appropriate add in the future.”

First Ward Alderperson Anais Bowring said she agreed.

“I hope we can find funding for that,” Bowring said. “I imagine if you look at staff time, it’s almost certainly at least worth that.”

Deputy Chief Matt Dean said it would be something they could take into consideration.

As to how other departments are progressing, Dean said the Kane County Sheriff’s Office and Elgin police both also use Axon.

The City Council will take final action.