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Campaign Reaches Fundraising Goal for Police Body Cameras

Rich Egger
From left to right, City Administrator Scott Coker, City Clerk Melanie Falk, Sue Marshall, Police Chief Curt Barker, Cara Erude, Sarah Shoper Salazar, Mayor Mike Inman. Vanessa Huston of BWC was unable to attend the ceremonial check presentation.

It took just two months for the Because We Care (BWC) campaign to reach its fundraising goal. The group's leaders presented a $33,000 check to the Macomb Police Department to cover half the cost of buying body cameras for officers.

“The response is just overwhelming. We can’t thank people and businesses enough for helping this campaign come to a (quick) end,” said Cara Erude, who is one of the campaign’s leaders.

Co-organizer Sarah Shoper Salazar added, “I’m just amazed and proud and honored that our community stepped up in his way to be transparent and supportive of all members of our community because that’s really what these body-worn cameras do.” 

Shoper Salazar believes the campaign succeeded so quickly because people want to be part of making change for the better.

Because We Care reported 166 individuals and businesses donated. The campaign’s Sue Marshall said contributions ranged from $10 to $5,000. Like Salazar, Marshall said the officer-worn cameras will benefit the community.

“I think the city council is really working closely with the police department to make changes in how policing is done in this community. I hope they continue to do that,” Marshall said.

Marshall encouraged the city to take a serious look at creating a citizens advisory review board for the police department.

The donation from Because We Care will be matched by $33,000 from the city to pay for the equipment. Police Chief Curt Barker believes it will be March or April before Macomb officers are wearing body cameras.

Organizers of Because We Care said the campaign’s Facebook page will remain active and will continue to post information about body-worn cameras for police.

This story was produced by Tri States Public Radio.  TSPR relies on financial support from our readers and listeners in order to provide coverage of the issues that matter to west central Illinois, southeast Iowa, and northeast Missouri. As someone who values the content created by TSPR's news department please consider making a financial contribution.

Rich is TSPR's News Director.