Body Cameras in 2021 Budget for Kenosha County Sheriff's Department

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Body cameras for the Kenosha County Sheriff's Department will be funded in the county's 2021 budget, County Executive Jim Kreuser said in a news release Monday.

The announcement comes one day and one week after the shooting of Jacob Blake by a police officer in the city of Kenosha. The incident sparked national outrage and protests, resulting in fires being set and damage to numerous buildings in the city.

Kreuser said the body camera proposal will be included in the budget he plans to present to the county board on Oct. 6. The budget will be subject to review, and is expected to be adopted in November.

“I hear the community’s call for more transparency, and I can tell you that body cameras will be funded next year,” Kreuser said in a news release. “The County Board made this request in a resolution adopted not long before the recent, tragic events in our community, and I have no reason not to follow through on it.

In the initial days following the shooting, Kenosha Mayor John Antaramian said police officers in the city won't be equipped with body cameras until 2022.

Some Wisconsin lawmakers, including Gov. Tony Evers, have renewed calls for police accountability reform.

Evers called for a special legislative session to consider a package of police reform bills that he proposed earlier this summer. But Republicans don't appear to be on the same page.

On Monday, Wisconsin Republican leaders convened the special session for just 30 minutes, NBC News reported. Republicans left the session open rather than adjourning it, which allows them to take action at a later date, though they gave no assurances that they would do so.

Assembly Republican leaders have pointed to a recently announced task force they said would consider legislation.

The bills proposed by Evers focus on investing in community violence interruption programs, addressing inappropriate use of force and prohibiting dangerous police practices.

Associated Press/NBC Chicago
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