Toronto Police Service approved to use body-worn cameras
Deployment to frontline officers to begin this month
The Toronto Police Service has received approval from the Toronto Police Services Board to move forward with the delivery of a service-wide body-worn camera program.
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, according to TPS. 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 notes it 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.
Details about costs and the contract with vendor Axon Canada are available in the service’s board report. Please see the August 18, 2020 report on Body-Worn Cameras, found in the “agendas” section of the Toronto Police Services Board website at: www.tpsb.on.ca.
To learn more about the new body-worn camera program, visit https://www.torontopolice.on.ca/body-worn-cameras/.