Mayor Rahm Emanuel and Chicago Police Superintendent Garry F. McCarthy
today announced that the Police Department is launching a pilot program using two types of body worn cameras. The cameras will record audio and video as an event unfolds in front of the officer.
“Over the past three and a half years we have led a return to community policing, fostering
stronger relationships and building partnerships between our hard working officers and the
communities they serve,” said Mayor Emanuel. “Through these cameras, we can use technology as a tool to continue to build the trust between officers and residents that is essential to achieving our shared goal – continuing to reduce crime in our communities.”
Officers on third watch in the 14th police district who are participating in the pilot will be equipped with Body Worn Cameras (BWC) and Point of View Cameras (POV). BWCs are clipped to an officer’s outer garment while POVs are clipped to the officer’s glasses, goggles or head gear.
Officers will activate the system to record all routine calls of service, investigatory stops, traffic stops, foot and vehicle pursuits, emergency driving situations and high-risk situations. They will inform any individuals they come into contact with that they are being recorded. Thirty cameras will be tested during the initial pilot program.
“As a police officer for more than 35 years, I’m excited about this new program because it will ensure more transparency from CPD and a new view of the work performed by our officers,” said Superintendent McCarthy. “While they are not the be-all-end-all, I believe body cameras will strengthen police and community relations.”
The pilot program is expected to last 45-60 days, and next steps will be determined based on evaluations by the CPD.
The equipment for the pilot program is being provided by TASER International, Inc. CPD will incur no cost for the pilot program. The same cameras are being tested in New York and are used by the Los Angeles Police Department and additional major jurisdictions around the United States.