Former Head Of The Civilian Office Of Police Accountability And Candidate For Illinois Attorney General, Sharon Fairley, Comments On The Chicago Police Departments Expansion Of Body Cameras

Equipping the Chicago Police Department with body cameras is an important accomplishment toward ensuring that officers have the tools they need for effective, constitutional policing.  This is a positive step for the Chicago Police Department because it is generally believed that body worn cameras are effective in reducing use of force and other types of misconduct.  It is important to keep in mind, however, that body worn camera footage has its limitations, as a recording from a single body camera may not capture everything that occurs during or leading up to an incident.  In addition, because officers must turn the cameras on, there is the potential for human error and it may be difficult for investigators to discern when the failure to activate a camera was intentional or just an oversight. Outfitting every patrol officer with body cameras is an important step toward regaining the public’s trust and providing an additional layer of transparency.

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