Credit: Axon Enterprise, Inc

Riverside patrol officers could be equipped with body cameras by early 2022 after village trustees expressed support for including in next year’s budget a five-year lease agreement with Axon Enterprise Inc. to provide 21 Axon 3 body cameras to the department, along with 21 less-than-lethal Taser stun guns and new onboard cameras for police vehicles.

The village board hasn’t approved a purchase agreement yet, but no trustee objected to the inclusion of the $60,000 line item, which will appear in Riverside budgets from 2022 to 2026.

An important part of the lease agreement, said Public Safety Director Matthew Buckley is that the body cameras, in-car cameras and Tasers will all store data in the same cloud-based secure system.

The lease deal also will call for Axon to replace body cameras with the most up-to-date model midway through the agreement. The $60,000 annual cost includes all of the equipment, updates, cloud-based storage and redaction software.

If the village board moves forward with the lease agreement prior to 2022, said Buckley, officers would begin training while department leaders would create a written policy for how the equipment is to be used.

Illinois law calls for all state police agencies to outfit their officers with body cameras by 2025. 

Brookfield trustees OK’d the purchase of body cameras in their 2021 budget, and the equipment has already been delivered, though the devices have not yet been put into use.

North Riverside trustees approved a five-year lease with Axon to outfit its officers with body cameras during the 2021-22 fiscal year, which started May 1. They are not yet in use in that village.

Buckley said he would like the body cameras to be in use on the streets in Riverside by early 2022.

“The sooner the better, as far as I’m concerned,” Buckley said.

While the body cameras would be a new piece of equipment for patrol officers, Riverside police have used in-car dashboard cameras since 1998. The new in-car cameras also include automatic license plate reader technology, which allows police quick access to vehicle registration information and whether a vehicle has been reported stolen or is wanted for involvement in a crime.