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Century Council donates to Illinois agencies.

Four Illinois law enforcement agencies will have new weapons to help in the fight against drunk driving, thanks to a donation of $63,000 worth of video surveillance cameras by Fighting Back Champaign/Urbana: A Century Coalition.

"The Champaign, Urbana and University of Illinois Police Departments and the Champaign County Sheriff's Department will each receive video camcorders, effectively strengthening their collective ability [of the agency] to enforce DUI laws," said Urbana mayor Jeffrey Markland on behalf of the coalition.

"This is the first of many accomplishments the Fighting Back Coalition hopes to make this year to effectively reduce drunk driving," he added.

Urbana police chief Bill Schlieter said he requested camcorders from the city last year, but they were not funded in the budget. Schlieter praised the Fighting Back Coalition's purchase of the equipment.

The Champaign police department is the only enforcement agency in the area that currently has a video camera in one of its cars. The videotape evidence it has recorded with the equipment has been used successfully to obtain guilty pleas in eight of nine DUI cases so far.

"By using videotape cameras, I think we'll be able to unclog court calendars because they will help cut down the number of cases that go to court," noted Champaign deputy police chief Don Carter, who researched the effectiveness of various videotape cameras. "When one is presented with clear evidence, it tends to influence a decision to plead guilty. "
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Publication:Modern Brewery Age
Date:Apr 6, 1992
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