Durham police begin evaluating the permanent use of body cameras
Durham police are deciding whether body cameras will become a permanent part of their uniform.
Eighty front-line officers have been wearing the devices while on duty for the last year as part of a pilot project called “Body-Worn Camera Project.”
Sgt. Jason Bagg spearheaded the pilot. He said DRPS should know by the end of the year whether the cameras will be used daily.
Bagg said body cameras could benefit training, investigations and prosecution outcomes.
“Better evidence,” Bagg said. “Intuitively, people believe a video is going to be better than a testimony. People believe video could provide some benefits with trust, transparency and accountability.”
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Despite this, there’s been pushback about the devices.
“Concerns are privacy, video security…Nobody wants video leaked,” Bagg said.
U of T criminology PhD candidate Eric Laming said there needs to be more consultation with communities about the implementation of body cameras.
“If police are going to be adopting this, there always has to be community consultation…this has to be continuous. Police have to be transparent about whatever they’re doing and the public has to demand this,” he told Global News in a phone interview.
Across Canada, Bagg says, Calgary police have implemented the cameras, while Toronto, Thunder Bay and now Durham police are heavily considering the technology.