WASHINGTON (ValleyCentral) — U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) announced a pilot program where ICE officers will begin to wear body cameras.

The program is for select cities, and the body cameras will be worn for pre-planned operations, according to a press release from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.

“With its body worn camera pilot, ICE is making an important statement that transparency and accountability are essential components of our ability to fulfill our law enforcement mission and keep communities safe,” said Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas in the release. “The Department will continue to seek ways to ensure the safety and security of our workforce, our state and local partners, and the public, while at the same time building confidence with the communities we serve.”

The deployment of the program will occur in phases throughout the United States. According to the release, it will begin with Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) special agents, and will be followed by Enforcement and Removal Operations (ERO) officers at a later date.

The HSI pilot locations are:

  • Houston, Texas
  • New York City, New York
  • Newark, New Jersey

“The body worn camera pilot is an effort to increase transparency between ICE and the communities we serve, enhance officer safety and deliver on our commitment to accountability,” said ICE Director Tae D. Johnson, in the release. “Safety of both ICE personnel and the public are the primary consideration when implementing these new technologies and tools.”