Earlier this year, the Chicago Police Department announced that its body camera program will roll out in all of the police districts before the end of the year – one year ahead of schedule.
Mayor Rahm Emanuel and Police Supt. Eddie Johnson decided to up the deployment of body cameras, and have every patrol officer in all 22 districts wearing one by the end of 2017. The original plan was to complete the rollout by the end of 2018.
Mayor Rahm Emanuel, Chicago Police Department Superintendent Eddie Johnson, Chief Technology Officer Jonathan Lewin, Commander Sean Loughran, and Commander Marc Buslik announced Monday that four more Chicago Police districts will be equipped with body cameras.
Those four districts include the 19th (which includes Lake View, North Center, Roscoe Village, Ravenswood and Lincoln Square), the 20th (which includes Uptown, and parts of Lincoln Square, Ravenswood and Edgewater), the 22nd (which includes Morgan Park, Beverly and Mount Greenwood) and the 24th (which includes Rogers Park, West Rogers Park and Edgewater).
“We said this was going to get done by 2018, throughout 2018 – this will be done by 2017,” Emanuel said.
“That body camera, dash cam provides a level of transparency for the officer and the resident.”
Supt. Johnson does not believe the cameras will discourage people from coming forward and talking with police.
“We’ve seen where citizens love recording what we do, so now we are recording what they do. Honestly, it helps us be better at what we do, but we have also seen where it changes people’s behavior when they know they are being recorded also,” Johnson said.
Supt. Johnson said the cameras won’t run all the time and officers will be required to activate the camera every time they interact with the public. He admits it may take awhile for officers to get used to the new technology. As of now, officers in the 16 of Chicago’s 22 police districts have body cameras.