Watch CBS News

Chicago Police May Equip Officers With Body Cameras

(CBS) -- Police in Ferguson, Mo. are now wearing body cameras to record their interactions with protesters and the public.

More and more law enforcement agencies are looking at the cameras as a powerful crime-fighting tool. So could Chicago be next?

CBS 2's Mai Martinez reports.

We've all seen dash-cam videos that capture police officers in action. Some police agencies are also using body cameras.

The evidence they provide is hard to dispute and part of the reason Chicago Police Supt. Garry McCarthy says his department is looking into using the cameras under a pilot program.

"We're not afraid to do enforcement. The point is to make sure we articulate it properly, and body cameras, I think, would back up that articulation," McCarthy said Monday.

He says his department has been working on the program for six to eight months, and some officers have volunteered to wear the cameras. But there's no timetable on if, or when, they'll actually be used on patrol.

"There's going to be contractual obligations that we're going to have to probably negotiate with unions and so on, moving forward," McCarthy said.

He added: "At the end of the day, I endorse it, but I'm not sure if the officers are going to feel the same way."

A police union spokesperson says the Fraternal Order of Police is not against the use of body cameras, but the union would have to be part of the conversation on how they would be used.

Some police agencies using the body cameras say they've seen dramatic drops in complaints against officers. For example, in Rialto, Calif., where the cameras have been in use for two years, complaints against officers are down 88 percent.


View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue
Be the first to know
Get browser notifications for breaking news, live events, and exclusive reporting.