Police union questions investigation into Springfield Police Department cameras
SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (WICS) —
Concerns are being raised about how the Springfield Police Department handled an investigation into cameras in their interview rooms.
Last week, a report done by the city’s inspector general showed cameras were found to be recording 24 hours a day.
Officials said the recordings are now locked away so they cannot be accessed, but now the Springfield Police Benevolent and Protective Association Unit Number 5, which is the police union, is questioning the report.
"The fact that this is audio and video recorded unbeknownst to us, it is a major concern, the same that I would feel to any other person in any other workplace would not want every room audio and video recorded without their knowledge,” said Grant Barksdale, the president of the police union.
An investigation began once Springfield Police Chief Kenny Winslow was made aware of this.
Results of that investigation were presented to the Springfield City Council last week.
Barksdale said the report leaves out some of the facts surrounding the discovery of the problems with the cameras.
"Some of the details we went through, as far as how this came to light, how long our members had known about it, how long it had been occurring and then that it was handled properly," Barksdale said.
Mayor Jim Langfelder said Winslow’s quick action to investigate the situation shows his good leadership skills.
"He acted appropriately,” Langfelder said. “We took the right actions taking it to the inspector general because when you look back at the history of the Springfield Police Department, they had circumstances come up that aren't pleasant and what we're trying to do is build the trust within the community."
But Barksdale disagrees.
"During this entire process, there wasn't anything sent out to our entire membership so obviously once this spread throughout the department, the distrust heightened immensely," Barksdale said.
We reached out to Winslow, but haven't heard back.