AURORA, Ill. – A violent clash between protestors and Aurora police led to the new technology unveiled Monday, intended to protect the public and law enforcement.
Aurora Police demonstrated the new technology in their Critical Incident Intelligence Center.
The department now has 150 new tasers that make a warning sound when activated, 315 body cams worn by all police officers and 150 dash cams in squad cars that are all tied together and can be monitored in real time at the Aurora Police Station.
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“When there’s a serious situation that happens they’ll have some live video from the scene of what is happening, some real-time information that they wouldn’t have if they were driving to the scene or just listening on the radio,” Aurora Police Lt. Bryan Handell said.
The city made a $4 million investment over five years. The technology is part of the department’s efforts to reform, placing priority on body cams, reviewing their use of force and training policies, after the violent clashes that happened in the summer of 2020, when protestors set fires and looted stores in Aurora. They believe new technology will improve community relations.
“The reality is seeing is believing. Now, body cameras allow the public to trust what the officer is saying or what the officer is experiencing at that time. It also gives our officers a level of protection to police against false accusations. So,I think it’s a win-win,” Aurora Police Chief Keith Cross said.
Officers started training with body cams in January. Already, video has been used in some criminal investigations.