Mayor Rahm Emanuel and Police Department Superintendent Eddie Johnson today announced the latest Chicago Police Department (CPD) expansion of body worn cameras to patrol officers in the Harrison neighborhood. This is part of the Department’s effort to ensure that every patrol officer on every watch in the City has a body camera by the end of 2017 – one full year earlier than originally planned. The expedited expansion supports officers in every neighborhood to reduce crime, improve transparency and rebuild trust within the communities that police serve.
“Body worn cameras are just one way we are improving transparency and rebuilding trust with the community,” said Mayor Emanuel. “They have proven to be a tool liked by officers and residents alike, and within a few months every patrol officer in the city will have one."
The body worn camera program first launched as a pilot in January 2015 in the Shakespeare Police District and on the Northwest Side. Since then, officers have taken more than 777,000 segments of footage. Last year, CPD expanded the program to include Austin, Wentworth, Deering, Ogden, South Chicago and Gresham. This year, patrol officers in Central, New North, and Englewood also received body worn cameras. Patrol officers in Harrison (District 11) are the latest to receive the equipment, with the remaining 11 districts set to roll out throughout 2017.
"CPD is committed to implementing reforms that build community trust and makes our officers safer in the process," said CPD Superintendent Eddie Johnson. "This rollout of body cameras to the 11th District makes good on that commitment and will protect the civil rights of those we serve. It will also show firsthand the dangers CPD officers face every day to make our streets safer."
CPD is now using the latest in body worn camera technology, which is able to record up to 72-hours of high-definition video on a single charge. The cameras are a self-contained audio and video recording device to help improve usability. In preparation for widespread use of body cameras, police district stations have undergone infrastructure improvements to accommodate the increased bandwidth and technology associated with the AXON II cameras.