CHICAGO, Dec 28 (Reuters) - Chicago will complete the rollout of body-worn cameras for its police officers a year earlier than planned to increase transparency and rebuild trust in a department currently under a federal civil rights investigation, the mayor said on Wednesday.
The new timeline has all officers wearing the cameras by the end of 2017, Mayor Rahm Emanuel said.
Emanuel has worked to overhaul the police force, which has about 12,500 sworn officers, in the wake of the investigation, introducing a new use of force policy and pledging to add nearly 1,000 officers. A body camera pilot project was launched in January 2015.
A number of high-profile misconduct incidents, most notably the release in 2015 of a video of the fatal shooting of black teenager Laquan McDonald by white officer Jason Van Dyke, has thrust Chicago into a national debate over police use of force, particularly within minority communities. The U.S. Justice Department is conducting the probe of the department.
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A history of police and military dogs on patrol
A history of police and military dogs on patrol
CAMP PATRIOT, KUWAIT - MARCH 2: Master-at-Arms 2nd Class Phillip Darity, a U.S. Navy dog handler, issues commands to his dog Argo during a simulated training drill. Argo, who is trained as a bomb and patrol dog, has served in the Navy for approximately one year and is being deployed for the first time. Navy police dogs and their Master-at-Arms handlers are being deployed to assist with force protection at many forward operating areas in support of Operation Enduring Freedom. (Photo Arlo K. Abrahamson/U.S. Navy/Getty Images)
(GERMANY OUT) World War I. German school for messenger dogs in France. Dog jumping over a dugout. It is wearing a message around his neck. Summer 1917 (Photo by ullstein bild/ullstein bild via Getty Images)
395165 21: Colorado Task Force member Ann Wickman crosses the pile of rubble with her dog Jenner at Ground Zero September 25, 2001 in New York City. (Photo by Michael Rieger/FEMA/Getty Images)
A Colombian Army Special Forces soldier rappels with a dog during a military exercise during the visit of US Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel and Colombian Defense Minister Juan Carlos Pinzon at a military base in Tolemaida, Colombia, on October 10, 2014. AFP PHOTO/Guillermo LEGARIA (Photo credit should read GUILLERMO LEGARIA/AFP/Getty Images)
SEGERA, AFGHANISTAN - JULY 5: British Army Theatre Military Working Dog Support Unit, Cpl Dave Heyhoe, 38-years-old from Linconshire, and his dog Treo and Corp Lcpl Marianne Hay from the Royal Army Veterinary, 23-years-old from Aberdeenshire, and her explosives search dog, Leanna, attach to Paratroopers from the 3rd Battalion Parachute Regiment during an operation to capture Taliban leaders on July 5, 2008 in the village of Segera, Kandahar Province. Afghanistan. The 3rd Battalion Parachute Regiment conducted a joint operation with U.S led Task Force Paladin and Afghan Border Police in the village of Segera in the Province of Kandahar to capture Taliban leaders. According to the military, during the operation about eight Taliban were captured and detained. (Photo by Marco Di Lauro/Getty Images)
This photograph taken August 15, 2011 shows US Army Specialist Justin Coletti of US Forces Afghanistan K-9 combat tracker team resting with Dasty, a Belgian Malinois at an airfield of Forward Operating Base Pasab following a five-hour overnight air assault mission with Bravo Company, 2-87 Infantry Battalion, 3rd Brigade Combat Team in Maiwand district, Kandahar province. Dasty who has a rank of a Sergeant, is a military working dog trained to patrol and locate a target individual and is currently deployed in southern Afghanistan saving lives of coalition forces in its war against Taliban insurgents. AFP PHOTO / ROMEO GACAD (Photo credit should read ROMEO GACAD/AFP/Getty Images)
UPAVON, ENGLAND - MARCH 26: Corporal Kelly Wolstencroft and her military working dog Tran put on a display as the Army showcases its future specialist capabilities, under the title of 'Force Troops Command', at Upavon Airfield on March 26, 2014 in Upavon, England. Force Troops Command (FTC) formally launches on April 1, 2014 and is the first major implementation of 'Army 2020'. FTC will deliver specialist, combat and command Support through Regular and Reserve soldiers. By 2015 FTC will be the largest of the Army's formations, made up of nine functional brigades and the Engineer and Logistics Staff Corps, in total representing a third of the whole Force. (Photo by Oli Scarff/Getty Images)
HEIHE, CHINA - AUGUST 16: Military dogs in frontier defense regiment salute their masters and other dogs in a unique way before training on August 16, 2016 in Heihe, Heilongjiang Province of China. Military dogs play an indispensable role in military tasks, such as patrol, anti-terrorism, search and rescue, security and alert. (Photo by VCG/VCG via Getty Images)
KANDAHAR, AFGHANISTAN - AUGUST 3: Lance Corporal Marianne Hay, 24 from Aberdeenshire, a soldier in the Royal Army Veterinary Corp and her arms and explosives dog Leanna attached to the 3rd Battalion The Parachute Regiment rest as they wait to leave for strike operation Southern Beast on August 3, 2008 at their base at the Kandahar Air Field (KAF) in Kandahar, Afghanistan. The British Army soldiers from the 3rd Battalion The Parachute Regiment spearheaded a strike operation in the Maywand District of the Kandahar Province, setting the conditions for a permanent ISAF presence to support the Afghan National Government in their fight against the Taliban. Striking within one of Afghanistan's major opium producing areas the Paratroopers were looking for weapons, drugs, and individuals related to the Taliban. During the operation about seventy kilograms of opium was seized and some weapons were recovered. (Photo by Marco Di Lauro/Getty Images)
LATTAKIA, SYRIA - DECEMBER 02: A member of Turkmen troops plays with a dog in the Bayirbucak region of Lattakia, Syria on December 2, 2015. Turkmen opposition factions took control of a large part of Kizildag peak Friday from regime forces, backed by Russian warplanes, in Latakia provinces Bayirbucak region. Being the highest peak in the area, Kizildag is of strategic value as it guarantees control of the Turkmen villages around it. (Photo by Fatih Aktas/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)
Two Airedale terriers at Lt. Colonel E. H. Richardson's canine training camp in Woking, Surrey, during World War II, 16th October 1939. One dog wears a special gas mask and the other carries rations for a wounded soldier. (Photo by Fox Photos/Hulton Archive/Getty Images)
A team member from NPO Japan Rescue Dog Association and his dog search for victims during a joint operation with the Metropolitan Police Department in Rikuzentakata, Miyagi prefecture on April 9, 2011. Residents of towns surrounding a crippled nuclear plant are regularly returning home, an official said, defying health warnings as the world's worst nuclear accident since Chernobyl drags on. AFP PHOTO / YASUYOSHI CHIBA (Photo credit should read YASUYOSHI CHIBA/AFP/Getty Images)
NANJING, CHINA - JANUARY 28: (CHINA OUT) A police dog and its trainer practise skipping at a police dog training base on January 28, 2006, in Nanjing, Jiangsu province, China. 2006 is the Chinese year of dog (Photo by VCG via Getty Images)
Police Dog Training School in Germany. Attacking the 'criminal'. About 1930. Photograph. (Photo by Imagno/Getty Images) *** Local Caption ***
PRETORIA, SOUTH AFRICA - JUNE 30: (SOUTH AFRICA, UAE, BRAZIL OUT) A Police dog is trained to attack at the police dog school on June 30, 2009 in Pretoria West, South Africa. The SAPS (South African Police Services) are continuing to train dogs for security measures in preparation of the 2010 FIFA World Cup. (Photo by Foto24/Gallo Images/Getty)
Even a Dog Enlists, Why Not You? Recruitment Poster by Moody (Photo by David Pollack/Corbis via Getty Images)
Photograph by Rol, dog wearing a gas mask,, 1918,, France - World War I,, Paris. BibliothÃ¨que nationale, . (Photo by: Photo12/UIG via Getty Images)
GIGLIO PORTO, ITALY - JANUARY 16: A dog from the Nucleo Cinofilo Regionale Toscano dei Vigili del Fuoco (Dog Tuscan Regional nucleus of firefighters) assists in the rescue operation on the cruise ship Costa Concordia as it lies stricken off the shore of the island of Giglio, on January 16, 2012 in Giglio Porto, Italy. More than four thousand people were on board when the ship hit rocks last Friday. The official death toll is now six, with a further 16 people still missing. The rescue operation was temporarily suspended earlier due to the ship moving as it slowly sinks further into the sea. (Photo by Laura Lezza/Getty Images)
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"Body cameras, while not a panacea, are a win-win for officers and the public," Emanuel said in a statement. "They provide a firsthand look at the dangerous situations officers encounter on a daily basis, and improve transparency while building trust."
The union representing Chicago police officers voiced displeasure over the lack of communication about the accelerated rollout of the cameras.
The union would prefer a broader range of footage released so the public also sees video showing mistreatment of officers, union president Dean Angelo Sr said in a telephone interview.
"We don't see the encounters that are challenging, disrespectful and borderline illegal, threatening someone in uniform just because they are in uniform," he said.
At a Wednesday demonstration, police Commander Marc Buslik said he was most concerned with the cameras invading the privacy of crime victims or bystanders during police encounters.
Buslik could not detail the amount each police camera will cost the city since the accelerated plan was not originally in the 2017 budget, but said the mayor's office had the funds to pay for it.
All patrol officers will be trained to turn on body cameras whenever they make a personal encounter, he said. For those who do not, disciplinary action has yet to be determined.
In July, a Chicago police officer killed a black teenager after he stole a car, but the fatal shots were not captured because a policeman's body camera was not recording.