A police body camera pilot program will kick off this week in Chicago's Shakespeare District, which covers the Northwest Side neighborhoods of Logan Square, Wicker Park and others.
Police in the Shakespeare District will have to volunteer to wear the devices as part of the program, which is expected to run for an initial 45 to 60 days and will be evaluated thereafter, the Chicago Police Department said Tuesday. Thirty cameras, to be attached to glasses, headgear or clothing, will be tested during the pilot program.
"It will be turned off and on, depending on whether or not they're taking a police action," Chicago Police Superintendent Garry McCarthy said of the body cameras, the Chicago Sun-Times resports. "The component that I really like is, as soon as you turn it on, there's a 30-second lag time. So, it's not like they're turning it on and you're not gonna see what just happened to precipitate them turning it on."
According to a police news release, the cameras will "record all routine calls of service, investigatory stops, traffic stops, foot and vehicle pursuits, emergency driving situations and high-risk situations."
The Chicago Police Department's plan to pilot body cameras was initially announced back in September.
The August police shooting death of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri has spurred debate across the country about whether departments should require their officers to wear the devices.
Proponents of body cameras say they could increase police accountability and transparency, while also preventing and de-escalating confrontational situations between law enforcement officials and civilians.
Some of the concerns surrounding police-worn cameras include their impact on the public's privacy rights.