Peel Regional Police introduce body-worn cameras in Mississauga
After a difficult year involving passionate and crucial discussions about police accountability in North America, Peel Regional Police—which serve Brampton and Mississauga—have announced plans to begin rolling out a body-worn camera program.
On Nov. 20, Peel police announced that the service is set to begin a phased implementation of body-worn cameras (BWC) and a digital evidence management (DEMS) solution for all frontline officers.
The move to roll-out the cameras comes after months of discussions on police reform. Earlier this year, regional council also voted to change how mental health crises are dealt with in Brampton and Mississauga, with some councillors saying that police should not be solely responsible for dealing with people in serious distress.
Police also said they're "engaging community stakeholders and frontline officers with the intent of creating clear and specific policies" to strengthen trust and accountability, while also leveraging technology to "enhance service delivery in new and innovative ways."
"Chief Nishan Duraiappah’s vision for Community Safety and Well Being (CSWB) goes beyond the implementation of a BWC solution," police said in a news release.
"Chief Duraiappah acknowledges that this initiative will not be solely relied upon as a primary tool to enhance the level of trust and transparency with our community."
Deputy Chief Anthony Odoardi, Officer in Charge of Innovation and Technology Command, says he is committed to ensuring that the needs of officers and the community are met through this tech innovation.
"As we continue to modernize our organization, our vision is to utilize available innovation and technology tools to enhance CSWB while demonstrating the professionalism of our frontline members. PRP has taken a leading role in introducing the concept and framework for providing real-time enhanced services, utilizing BWC live-stream technology," Odoardi said in a statement.
"These opportunities include utilizing embedded medical professionals in our real-time operations centre (RTOC) to assist frontline members in safely supporting persons in crisis. We also look to provide social supports in real-time that would otherwise not be achieved through traditional response models."
Peel police is also implementing a platform that will allow it to handle large volumes of data, adding that it plans to leverage data analytics in order to inform police activities with the goal of improving service delivery.
"With the current pandemic, PRP intends to interact virtually to ensure meaningful and collaborative dialogue to help inform our processes and policies," Inspector Josh Colley, BWC/DEMS Project Lead, said in a statement.
"This collaboration is meant to continue well beyond the initial test and rollout phase that is set to go live on November 23rd at our Airport Division."
The phased deployment of additional cameras, and related innovative support solutions, will commence in early 2021.
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