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11/11/2013

Vancouver Police Department considers body worn camera project

Vancouver Police Officer

Vancouver Police officers could begin wearing body worn cameras next year, as more and more departments in North America outfit their officers with the devices.

In Canada, the Edmonton Police department have been running a pilot project with Reveal Media’s RS3-SX body worn camera since last October, with Edmonton Police Chief Rod Knecht calling the cameras a “tremendous asset” 6 months into the pilot. “Based on what I’ve seen in the short term, it’s very positive. I think it’s a good thing,” he said. Officers have found that people have improved their behaviour towards them as soon as they are told the cameras are recording,” He added.

Elsewhere in Canada, the RS3-SX has been deployed in Amherstburg, where a trial was completed succesfully with the Department concluding the cameras “improve the quality of evidence in prosecutions, reduce violent confrontations, speed up court cases and cut down on the number of citizen complaints against police.”

Vancouver police set up a project team last November to study whether the VPD should begin using the body cameras. In a report to be submitted Tuesday to the Vancouver Police Board, Chief Constable Jim Chu said the team is recommending that the VPD contemplate a pilot project in mid-2014, but only after they have the results from Edmonton’s pilot.

A report from the Edmonton Police Service is expected by September 2014.

“The introduction of the camera has seen a marked decline in confrontations between detainees and officers. Anyone who works directly with the public, would be doing themselves a huge injustice in not investing in these cameras.”
John Connolly, Immigration Removal Services