Police agencies in British Columbia say the introduction of body cameras will improve transparency and lead to more timely resolution of complaints against officers.
The B.C. Association of Chiefs of Police and representatives from several departments gathered at RCMP headquarters in Surrey to tout the introduction of the cameras, soon to be worn by thousands of officers in the province and across Canada.
Deputy Chief Anita Furlan with the Metro Vancouver Transit Police says police expect the technology to improve interactions with the public and help resolve complaints more quickly.
Furlan, a vice-president with the B.C. Association of Chiefs of Police, says video evidence is valuable in court proceedings because it “shows exactly what is occurring.”
Chief Supt. Holly Turton of the RCMP says the force has used body cameras in a “limited capacity” since 2010, and between 10,000 and15,000 body cameras are set to be deployed across Canada after field testing in Alberta and elsewhere.
Supt. Howard Tran with the Vancouver Police Department says introducing body cameras is “long overdue,” as communities have changed their expectations of police at a time of “emerging public safety challenges.”
Dozens of VPD officers are already wearing body cameras under a pilot program launched last week.
This report by The Canadian Press was first published Jan. 11, 2024.