Police to expand body worn camera rollout
Following rigorous testing and a small beta rollout, the Calgary Police Service will be expanding the use of body worn cameras to all frontline members.
Since August, the Service has been testing a phased rollout of the cameras to District 1 and Traffic to determine how well they function and how the operating procedures work in different circumstances. Throughout this process, policy and training has also been enhanced allowing officers to capture evidence, enhance public and officer safety, as well as provide transparency to the public.
Rollout out to other areas of the Service will now be paused for two months to ensure all information from the beta rollout is captured and any lessons learned are adopted. However, it is anticipated that all uniformed frontline members will be wearing body worn cameras by the end of 2016 or the beginning of 2017.
In a recent survey, 91 per cent of polled Calgarians said they were supportive of officers using the cameras with 88 per cent saying it will enhance transparency and 95 per cent saying they will increase officer accountability.
Policy outlines that body worn cameras are activated when officers are responding to a call or come across an incident requiring investigation. However, as with any new technology, police anticipate that there will be a learning curve for all members while they adapt to the new technology.
Recognizing privacy issues, storage capacity and the fact that every situation does not merit the collection of video, the body worn cameras will not be recording an officer’s entire shift.
In the coming months, the Service will be embarking on public education and awareness campaign to ensure Calgarians are aware that when they are interacting with a uniformed officer of the Calgary Police Service, there is a possibility that the interaction is being captured on the body worn camera.
A webpage has also been established for anyone who wishes to view the CPS policy on body worn cameras, the Privacy Impact Assessment or an FAQ document. This can be accessed via the following link https://www.calgary.ca/cps/Pages/Body-Worn-Camera.aspx
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