Following days of protests after the release of the video showing the fatal police shooting of a Chicago teen, Mayor Rahm Emanuel and Chicago police Superintendent Garry McCarthy announced Sunday that police officers will wear body cameras in six additional police districts by mid-2016, reports the Chicago Tribune.
"Equipping every officer with a wearable camera device allows us to harness the power of technology to better serve the people of Chicago," McCarthy said in a statement Sunday. "In addition to protecting police officers and citizens, cameras have been shown to reduce citizen complaints against police and are great tools for evidence gathering and training as they allow us to learn from actual encounters with the public."
After testing body cameras in one district for nearly 11 months, the city will announce the six police districts where officers will wear body cameras "in the coming days." The Chicago Police Department will be buying the cameras, which can record up to 72 hours on a single charge in high definition, in February. The new cameras can also double as in-vehicle recording devices.
"Improving public safety and making Chicago a safer city has been one of my highest priorities," Emanuel said in a statement. "Expanding this successful program into one-third of the city will help enhance transparency and credibility as well as strengthen the fabric of trust that is vital between police and the community."
The program is expected to be funded with a $1.1 million grant from the U.S. Department of Justice and $1.1 million in matching funds from the city. CPD also has applied for state grants to assist with camera purchases, storage, maintenance, upload stations and other program-related costs.