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Chicago Announces Expansion In Police Body Camera Program

(CBS) -- The Chicago Police Department is expanding its body camera program into an additional six districts by the middle of 2016, the city announced Sunday morning in a press release.

The cameras are attached to the officer's clothing and record video and audio. Last January, the Chicago Police Department launched a pilot program in the Shakespeare District on the Northwest Side.

The next police districts to get the body cameras will be announced in the coming days, the city said.

"Improving public safety and making Chicago a safer city has been one of my highest priorities," said Mayor Rahm Emanuel in a press release. "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 city says it is buying cameras that can record 72 hours in high definition on a single charge. The program is being paid for by a $1.1 million grant from the U.S. Department of Justice and an additional $1.1 million from city funds. The Chicago Police Department has also applied for state grants to assist with the program costs.

Equipping every officer with a wearable camera device allows us to harness the power of technology to better serve the people of Chicago," said Superintendent Garry McCarthy in a press release. "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."

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