Mayor: All Chicago Patrol Officers Now Have Body Cameras

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The Chicago Police Department says all patrol officers are now equipped with body cameras.

Mayor Rahm Emanuel and police Superintendent Eddie Johnson said Sunday the city reached its goal to provide the cameras to more than 7,000 officers one year earlier than originally planned. They say it’s the largest deployment of the technology in the U.S.

Emanuel says the cameras are “an essential tool” in the city’s efforts to rebuild trust between police and the community. He says they improve transparency and help in investigations and resolving disputes.

The U.S. Justice Department in January issued a scathing report on civil rights abuses by Chicago’s police over the years. An investigation began in 2015 after the release of dashcam video showing an officer shoot a black teenager, Laquan McDonald, 16 times.

Officers will get a grace period to familiarize themselves with the new technology. The department has said there will be rules that come with it, including letting the public know they are being recorded with the exception of certain situation, like an active shooter. The department also said if an officer intentionally does not turn on the camera, they could face consequences.

(AP)