CHICAGO (CBS) — All Chicago police officers on patrol will be equipped with body cameras by the end of 2018.
Supt. Eddie Johnson made the announcement this morning at a police station on the city’s West Side. The move comes as the department continues to try to build trust with the public after several fatal police shootings.
Johnson says body cameras have served as a building block of public trust and accountability. They were introduced in January of last year on the city’s northwest side as part of a pilot program that has expanded to seven districts.
“These cameras have offered a glimpse into the dangerous situations Chicago Police officers face every day, in an effort to keep our streets safe,” Johnson said. “They’ve also provided answers in instances where we’ve had questions and it showed us, as a department, what we’re doing right, and what we can improve.”
The department didn’t release details about which areas will get the cameras next as part of an 8 million dollar expansion that will increase the number of cameras from 2 thousand to about 7 thousand.
The cameras will be paid for out of the department’s operating budget and grants, according to a press release.
Deputy Chief John Lewin says each camera can record about 70 hours worth of video and the contract for them includes an unlimited amount of storage space. Unlike dashboard cameras, officers must activate the Taser Axon cameras to start recording.
This July, the officer who fatally Paul O’Neal after he crashed a stolen car was not recording when he shot the 18-year-old.