New squad car cameras allow remote viewing of police activity

Flossmoor police officials will soon be able to monitor traffic stops and other activity on camera, and in real time.

Following this week’s approval of new squad car camera systems, remote viewing of law enforcement activity will be possible at Flossmoor’s police station.

Village board members, at the Aug. 21 meeting, unanimously voted to purchase the GETAC police camera system for $56,425. The updated system is likely to be installed in the next few weeks.

Deputy Chief Tod Kamleiter told the board that the current squad car video recording program is outdated. Its warranty has expired and it is experiencing system failures, he said.

“We currently have limited video storage capability and we are struggling to meet freedom of information requests and state mandates on video/audio retention,” Kamleiter said in a memo to the board.

Flossmoor has had cameras in its police cars since 2001.

The new system allows unlimited secure storage on the cloud, replacing onsite servers that limit the amount of video that can be retained, Kamleiter said.

“With unlimited storage, we are able to outfit each patrol vehicle with four cameras providing 360-degree coverage around the patrol car,” he said.

The GETAC system is in recording mode as long as the squad car is in operation. Remote, secure viewing is allowed when the officer activates the event recorder, Kamleiter said.

The new camera system comes with a five-year extended warranty system.

This year’s municipal budget provided $60,000 for the purchase of five in-car video recording systems. Kamleiter said the total cost of the GETAC system will actually cost $3,575 less than the budgeted amount.

The police department applied for a $10,000 grant from the Powering Safe Communities program that would have offset some of the costs of the new system. But the grant was denied, Kamleiter said.

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