Today, the Toronto Police Service received approval from the Toronto Police Services Board to move forward with the delivery of a Service-wide body-worn camera program.
A media release stated that by the end of August, frontline police officers in the northwest area of the city will start to use body-worn camera technology during interactions with the public.
“Body-worn cameras will be used to create trust and legitimacy between officers and the public as we continue to modernize policing services,” said Interim Chief James Ramer. “This technology provides an independent, bias-free account of our interactions and reinforces our commitment to deliver accountable and transparent policing.”
By fall 2021, 2,350 cameras will be in use across the city. Before deployment, every officer will be trained on the operational use of the camera and the associated governance, which include minimum penalties for non-compliance.
The Service has worked with the Information & Privacy Commissioner, the Ministry of the Attorney General, the Ontario Human Rights Commission, the Special Investigations Unit, and the Office of the Independent Police Review Director, to develop a program that considers privacy, security, and disclosure responsibilities for the body-worn cameras.
With few exceptions, body-worn cameras will be used when an officer arrives at a call for service, begins an investigation, or when asking a person questions for the purposes of collecting information.
Peel Police is also working on a plan on how to implement officer body-worn cameras across the force.
To learn more about the Toronto Police new body-worn camera program, visit https://www.torontopolice.on.ca/body-worn-cameras/.