New Brown County sheriff looks to get body cameras, policy manuals

Published: Aug. 4, 2022 at 6:08 PM CDT
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MOUNT STERLING, Ill. (WGEM) - Brown County sheriff Justin Oliver has been in his position for only a month but he is already setting goals and future investments for the Brown County sheriff’s office.

Oliver said the first order of business is get body cameras for all of the deputies. He said they’re looking at grants now, but also being mindful in their decision.

“It’s several thousands of dollars,” Oliver said. “That’s why we want to get the right cameras.”

Oliver said he wants to make sure the cameras will be user-friendly, have a long battery life, and space in storage.

“[We’re doing our research and] had a lot of conversation with neighboring departments,” Oliver said. “Pike County, Adams County.”

Deputy Sheriff Billie Burge has been with the Brown County Sheriff’s office for 7 years. He said he’s on board for the body cameras.

“We just had an incidence,” Burge said. “Just south of town a few months back, where a body camera would have been nice to have evidence for the court on trial.”

Burge said the department could really benefit from a police manual--since there’s not one in place currently.

He said it’s important for serious matters.

“You know, show us exactly what steps we can take,” Burge said. “So if we do end up in court, we can always say, well, we followed our policy manual.”

Oliver said they’re putting together a policy manual, however that could take months.

“Insurance companies are moving toward that directive,” Oliver said. “And they want us to have something for liability purposes.”

Oliver said with the body cameras, his end goal is to have 10 to 12 of them ready to go in January 2023.

He said regardless, the Brown County Sheriff’s office will have to conform to the new Illinois body camera law.

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