Lake in the Hills police will get new dash cams and body cameras
Administrators for the Village of Lake in the Hills on Thursday approved spending $102,782 on nine police car video systems and 20 officers’ body cameras with maintenance warranties for hardware, software and license fees.
Dash cams cost $59,112 and body cams cost $43,670.
The purchases follow a three-year transition plan for Watch Guard/Motorola Solutions dash cams to replace a previous purchase of Pro-Vision cameras, as these have recurring technical issues of lost video and audio files, officials said.
“We have already purchased 20 body cameras last year, and this year we are requesting another 20 to complete the project,” Police Chief Mary Frake said. “We started this process some time ago.
“The issues (with Pro-Vision) were the difficulty in locating the videos once they were downloaded and then having manual intervention to go and find the videos. This is something we don’t want to do with the records and transparency. And at the end of the day, that’s what we focus on, and that’s why we’ve moved to a system that’s proven to work.”
Team camera systems are used to collect evidence during traffic stops and service calls, provide training opportunities from situations captured on video, capture additional facts regarding potential complaints against officers, and provide an added level of transparency to the public, village documents show.
The department wanted body cameras that could be integrated with squad cameras, according to an email from police spokeswoman Ashley Eccles. She also noted the department’s efficiency in using one camera system instead of two, as well as the efficiency of having video storage on one system.
The village purchased four Pro-Vision cameras as a team in 2018 and five more in 2019 for a total cost of $35,500. These cameras started having issues in 2018, with cameras disconnecting and videos not uploading to the server, Eccles said.
Officials worked with the supplier to resolve the issues, as all the equipment was still under warranty, she said.
Attempts to reach Pro-Vision by telephone and e-mail were unsuccessful.
Pro-Vision replaced the equipment, but the problems persisted, so the village purchased a different camera system – Watch Guard, now Watch Guard/Motorola Solutions – as recommended by its technology consultant, Advanced Business Network.
Advanced Business Network has implemented the Watch Guard/Motorola system in other police departments and has extensive experience with it, according to village documents.
All purchases of Watch Guard/Motorola products included the waiver of the bidding process, as recommended by Advanced Business Network. From October 2020 to last March, the village paid Advanced Business Network $43,000, with the majority of the costs stemming from issues with the Pro-Vision camera system, documents show.