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Body-Worn Cameras

Northwestern Police began exploring the use of body-worn cameras in April 2016, working in collaboration with key stakeholders across the University to ensure a thoughtful approach.

In June 2017, we began a 30-day pilot phase with five Northwestern police officers. The feedback provided from both the officers and our community members shaped our implementation in the fall.

We went live with body-worn cameras for all sworn personnel on February 1, 2018.

This page is designed as a resource for information about the Northwestern Police Department body-worn camera initiative, providing you with resources such as a timeline of key events, links to the department policy, and answers to frequently asked questions

We greatly value your feedback on this and all Department of Safety and Security initiatives. If you have questions, comments, or would like additional information email University Police to submit your question or comment.


Date Activity Notes
April 2016 Research Began
  • Northwestern Police Department began researching the feasibility and practicality of using body-worn cameras
August 2016 Grant Application Submitted
  • A grant co-written by the Northwestern and Evanston Police Departments was submitted to the Department of Justice (DOJ), Bureau of Justice Assistance
October 2016 Grant Awarded
  • DOJ notified Northwestern and Evanston Police Departments of grant award for the implementation of body-worn cameras
October 10, 2016 Fall Safety Message
  • Fall Safety Message to University community announced intent to implement body-worn cameras
October 12, 2016 Daily Northwestern
  • Article titled “University Police to begin using body-worn cameras”
March 2017 Stakeholder Group Established
  • 29 representatives from Office of the Provost, Student Affairs, Police Advisory Committee, Human Resources, Neighborhood & Community Relations, Office of General Counsel, Evanston Police
April 6, 2017 Email from Bruce Lewis
  • Spring Safety Message again announced initiative to acquire body-worn cameras
  • Announced they would be in use by August 2017
June 6, 2017 Email from Bruce Lewis
  • Email to University Community reviewing the history of the initiative, noting the launch of the test phase, and linking to the website for additional information
June 6, 2017 University Police Website
  • Populate with project timeline, FAQs, full policy
  • Contact info for questions/feedback; link to department feedback page
  • Space for ongoing updates
June 2017 NPD
  • BWC trial begins with five officers
August 17, 2017 Email from Bruce Lewis
  • Update on testing phase
  • Reminder of website
  • Plans to move forward with implementation
December 14, 2017 Training
  • Administrators and staff trained on use of (video repository), body worn cameras and ancillary components
January 22, 2018 CAD Integration
  • Computer Aided Dispatch integrated with BWC video
January 25, 2018 Formal Distribution of BWCs
  • Sworn personnel issued cameras and associated mounts
February 1, 2018 BWCs Live
  • All sworn officers responding to calls for service to activate BWCs
View the Body-Worn Camera policy.