Peel Police board approves use of body cameras on officers

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In a video meeting held today (Friday, August 21), the Peel Police Services Board approved the decision to begin having Peel Police officers wear body cameras.

The move is to ensure increased transparency during police interactions.

The meeting was attended by Mississauga mayor Bonnie Crombie and Brampton mayor Patrick Brown, who also expressed their support for the cameras.

“I was proud to move motion to implement body-worn cameras to increase transparency and accountability,” said Crombie, “receive an update on the roll out of the Diversity and Inclusion strategy, and final report on service delivery review.”

The cameras could be implemented as early as this Fall, according to Deputy Chief Anthony Odoardi.

Peel Regional Police are approved to enter into a direct negotiation with Axon Enterprises Inc., which will provide the cameras at an estimated cost of $1.8 million per year for an initial term of five years.

When asked how the cameras could be controlled to ensure they’re serving their purpose, Odoardi said it would be based on proper training as well as policy and procedure.

According to Odoardi, certain artificial intelligence is automated within the body-worn cameras and the relevant procedures are still a work in progress.

He is expected to report back to the Board later with further information related to the cameras’ procedures and operational costs.

The move comes after multiple controversial incidents earlier this year involving police, including one in June where a distress call lead to Peel Police fatally shooting Ejaz Choudhry, a 62 year old father of four who reportedly suffered from schizophrenia.

Peel Police chief Nishan Duraiappah acknowledged what he described as “a difficult time for members of the public, the local community, and the racialized communities that have been specifically affected,” and said members of Peel Regional Police had also been affected.

To watch the full meeting, click here.

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