Grey-Bruce OPP officers will begin using body-worn cameras early next year following a year-long trail that is currently underway in the OPP West Region.
“This is an evaluative study but eventually every frontline member will be equipped with body-worn cameras,” said Debra Anderson, Grey-Bruce OPP detachment commander during the Grey Highlands Police Service Board meeting held Tuesday afternoon.
Uniform members of the Haldimand Detachment, members of the OPP West Region Emergency Response Team and members of the West Region Traffic Incident Management Enforcement team have been trialing the cameras since the middle of May.
The trial is expected to help inform broader OPP implementation of new technologies in the future.
OPP officers participating in the evaluative study will have the body-worn camera in plain view. The camera has lights and indicators showing it has been activated.
Officers are trained to give notice as soon as reasonably possible that a body-worn camera is in operation.
The camera is activated prior to arriving at a call for service; at the earliest opportunity, prior to any contact with a member of the public, and where that contact is for an investigative or enforcement purpose.
The body-worn camera will be turned off when the call for service or investigation is complete.
The OPP has conducted a comprehensive review of policies and procedures developed by partner police agencies as it relates to the use and privacy impacts. Procedures have been created to address potential privacy concerns and to ensure the security of the video once it has been recorded during the course of this study.
The trial is expected to last one year with the results and findings being published in an internal report that is not expected to be released to the public.
“Since we're such a big organization, it's nice to do a trial run so that we can work out all the glitches first before it goes out department-wide,” Anderson added.
Jennifer Golletz, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, CollingwoodToday.ca