Body cameras coming to Dixon Police Department

Police Chief: Cameras will be important tool for department

DIXON – The Dixon Police Department will soon be outfitting its fleet of officers with body cameras.

The Dixon City Council approved spending $182,545 Monday across the next 5 years for body cameras and video storage.

The first year’s payment will be $44,593 to Motorola Solutions and will cover the equipment, accessories, implementation and subscription fee, Dixon Police Chief Steve Howell said.

The following years will each cost $34,488 for video storage.

“The importance for having this tool in the department is high,” Howell said.

City officials began discussing purchasing body cameras several years ago, and last year, Gov. JB Pritzker signed a massive criminal justice reform omnibus that includes requiring all law enforcement to use body cameras by 2025, with earlier deadlines for larger cities.

“This has been a pretty big project, and now you have the state mandate to factor into it,” Mayor Li Arellano Jr. said.

About a year ago, Howell presented a plan to the City Council to meet the requirement ahead of time. At the time, he said the cameras would increase transparency and provide footage of an incident in addition to squad car cameras.

He also said that people usually change their behavior when they know they’re being recorded, and studies at other departments have shown a decrease in complaints and altercations.

Rachel Rodgers

Rachel Rodgers

Rachel Rodgers joined Sauk Valley Media in 2016 covering local government in Dixon and Lee County.