Starting June 2, nine officers and two supervisors from the Evanston Police Department will be testing out body-worn cameras during their shifts, said Commander Joe Dugan of the Evanston Police Department. The EPD in partnership with the Northwestern University Police Department received a grant to implement a body-worn camera program at each agency. Nationwide, the use of body-worn cameras have become a best practice for police departments.
Law enforcement agencies are using body-worn cameras in different ways, including improvements in evidence collection, strengthening of officer performance and accountability, enhancing transparency, better documentation during encounters between the police and the public, and to assist in the investigation of complaints, said the Commander. Studies have shown that the presence of a body-worn camera has a positive effect on the behavior of both officers and citizens during encounters.
“The initial testing phase will not only allow our personnel to test out the reliability and effectiveness of the equipment, but also address any procedural or technical issues that may arise,” said Commander Dugan. “As part of the pilot program, the department initiated a policy related to the officer’s use of body-worn cameras. The testing and evaluation phase of the body-worn camera program will last throughout the summer.”
A body-worn camera page has been added to the City of Evanston website that includes, a draft copy of our policy, a link to the State of Illinois law regarding body-worn cameras and a survey that solicits input from the community on the program.