Alberta's plan to mandate police body cameras could be expensive: criminologist

CALGARY — A Calgary criminologist says Alberta's plan to make all police services in the province use body cameras could come with prohibitive costs and take a long time to put in place.

Public Safety Minister Mike Ellis announced the plan Tuesday and said it would provide both officers and the public with protection, as well as transparency when police are required to make split-second decisions.

Alberta will be working with the Alberta Association of Chiefs of Police on funding, logistics and when the cameras will roll out.

However, Doug King, a justice studies professor at Mount Royal University, says although body cameras are a good idea, there are a number of questions that need to be answered, including who would pay the high cost of storing the footage.

He says if the government doesn't agree to a long-term deal, the cost could fall to municipalities.

King also says putting the plan into place within two or three years is unrealistic.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published March 15, 2023.

The Canadian Press