CHICAGO (WLS) --With a warm weekend ahead heightening concern about violence across the city, so Chicago Police Superintendent Eddie Johnson is hitting the streets, complete with a body camera as part of a new expanded program to equip the force with the technology.
The cameras are another set of eyes and will be deployed with officers to some of Chicago's most violent neighborhoods. They will be in wider use starting later this month, mostly in police districts on the south and west sides of the city.
"The body cameras just go towards promoting accountability, transparency," Johnson says.
Supt. Johnson donned his camera for the first time and patrolled with officers. By late July there will be cameras on some 2,000 officers, recording their interactions.
"Any citizen encounters on a public way," Johnson says of what the cameras will record. "Emergency stops, anything of evidentiary value."
The announcement of the rollout comes on the same day police say an officer shot and wounded a man in West Pullman while serving an arrest warrant.
"They're going to see up close and personal what officers face every day," says Dean Angelo, Sr., president of the Fraternal Order of Police. "I think you're going to come away with a whole new level of respect for these women and men of the Chicago Police Department."
Body cameras are just one initiative aimed at repairing relations between the police department and the communities of Chicago. In an op-ed running in Sunday's Chicago Sun Times, Johnson writes, "Respect is the foundation for rebuilding trust. And the easiest and most honest way to show respect is to listen. To the residents of Chicago, we hear you."
The body cameras were first deployed on a limited basis a little over a year ago in one police district on the north and northwest sides, and CPD says complaints against officers dropped.