Elsewhere: Urbana hopeful for 2018In Champaign County, Rantoul officers were the first to tack mini-cameras onto their uniforms, with 23 of them doing so in November 2014.Helping cover the costs — ,000 up front and about ,4000 annually for cloud-based storage — was a large, anonymous donation made in 2011.Champaign County Sheriff: A new deal The Champaign County Sheriff's Department found a way to lessen the financial burden when its deputies began using body cameras, in 2015.Rather than buy new technology outright, it leased 80 cameras — per camera per month."We could not afford to purchase everything up front," Capt. "We just could not do that, so this lease option, for us, works."Cutting down costs on the cameras freed up funds to invest in in-house storage — at first, about ,000 for 16 terabytes' worth, with the county's IT department maintaining the video footage.Urbana police hope to invest in cameras — both for officers' bodies and squad cars — sometime in 2018.But whether that happens will depend on what the city budget looks like. Joel Sanders said he has studied cameras, camera companies and support systems in depth.Since then, the department has had to upgrade, adding another 40 terabytes of storage at a cost of about ,000.
Two national first responder networks – one anchored by AT&T and the other by Verizon – are supporting the Axon Body 3 camera, which can make dangerous situations a bit safer both for first responders and the public.
About a year after the 2014 shooting of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Mo., the village of Rossville took the same step as hundreds of small towns and major metros from coast to coast — it invested in body cameras for its police officers.
At the time, it seemed like a wise investment for the Vermilion County village of 1,261 — eight cameras at 0 a pop, plus a docking station, wouldn't bust the budget.
And if needed, the department still has its in-house storage capabilities.
Cook said the new system will save the evidence tech and investigative supervisors time and energy in handling footage."Unfortunately we didn't get to add anybody," he said.
What happened in the months that followed, however, caused the village to rethink that.