Illinois

Chicago speeds up plan to equip officers with body cameras

FILE - In this Sept. 22, 2016, file photo, Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel speaks during a news conference at the Malcolm X Community College in Chicago. Emanuel's decision to release thousands of pages of private emails does not end a dispute in Illinois about public access to such emails from him and other officials when they deal with government business. Emanuel announced late Wednesday, Dec 21, 2016, that he had settled a lawsuit by a government watchdog group over emails from his personal accounts, but it allows him and his personal lawyer to decide which emails are public records and which are not. (AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast)

FILE - In this Sept. 22, 2016, file photo, Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel speaks during a news conference at the Malcolm X Community College in Chicago. Emanuel's decision to release thousands of pages of private emails does not end a dispute in Illinois about public access to such emails from him and other officials when they deal with government business. Emanuel announced late Wednesday, Dec 21, 2016, that he had settled a lawsuit by a government watchdog group over emails from his personal accounts, but it allows him and his personal lawyer to decide which emails are public records and which are not. (AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast)  (The Associated Press)

Chicago authorities say all police officers will be equipped with body cameras by the end of 2017, a year ahead of schedule.

Mayor Rahm Emanuel says in a Wednesday statement announcing the speeded up schedule that body cameras "improve transparency while building trust."

Scrutiny of police intensified after the release of a squad-car video last year ago showing a white officer fatally shooting black teenager Laquan McDonald 16 times. The Justice Department launched a civil rights investigation and Emanuel pledged sweeping reforms. The city launched its body-camera program in 2015 and expanded it following protest over the McDonald video.

Wednesday's statement didn't include costs or camera numbers. But police said in September that 2,000 body cameras were in use and that 5,000 more would be bought for around $8 million.