Chicago Police Department Announces Expansion to Body Camera Program Will Be Finished Year Ahead of Schedule

The Chicago Police Department announced it is fast-tracking a plan for all officers to wear body cameras. 

The mayor's office released plans early Wednesday to expedite the expansion of the Chicago Police Department’s body camera program to be finished a year earlier than planned. 

Right now, about a third of Chicago’s police districts are equipped with body cameras and it was known more were coming, but the surprising news was how quickly they will be rolled out. 

Under the new expansion, every patrol officer in all 22 districts will be equipped with a personal camera by the end of next year, which is a year ahead of the city’s original schedule. 

Body cameras are part of a bigger reform effort to make the Chicago Police Department more accountable on the heels of questionable police shootings. Other initiatives include de-escalation training and creating a new accountability system to replace the Independent Police Review Authority.  

For the Chicago Police Department, having a camera track exactly what's happening during encounters with suspects can also provide security and added protection to officers. 

The U.S. Justice Department has been pushing for more police body cameras nationwide and kicked in federal funding to help make it happen in Chicago. 

Expansion to the city's other police districts is expected to begin next month. 

Both Mayor Emanuel Chicago Police Supt. Eddie Johnson are expected to make an official announcement detailing the expedited expansion Wednesday morning.

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