Iqaluit RCMP don body cameras ahead of national rollout

City one of 3 regions marked for final field tests

An RCMP officer wears a body-worn camera similar to those to be used in the upcoming field test in Nunavut. (File Photo)

By Jorge Antunes

RCMP in Iqaluit are moving ahead with their final field tests involving officers wearing body cameras while on duty.

Similar test projects are also being carried out at RCMP detachments in Nova Scotia and Alberta.

The cameras will be deployed in Iqaluit on May 19, according to RCMP spokesperson Sgt. Pauline Melanson. There will be a total of eight cameras in use, which means there will be two cameras per watch, she said.

First announced in the spring 2022, the tests are the first phase of the rollout of a body-worn camera contract awarded to Motorola Solutions Canada Inc., said Melanson in an email.

Across the three test sites, 300 RCMP employees, the majority of them frontline officers, will wear the cameras. That will be followed by a 12- to 18-month rollout to detachments across the country.

After that, body-worn cameras will become standard for general duty frontline RCMP officers.

This isn’t the first time Nunavut officers have taken part in body-worn camera testing.

An initial pilot project involving officers in Iqaluit ran from November 2020 to May 2021. A survey carried out in conjunction with that elicited generally positive feedback. However, only 13 of 73 participants identified as Inuit.

Community members and leaders from various levels of government have been calling for several years to standardize the use of body-worn cameras in policing to improve transparency and accountability.

According to an RCMP news release, body-worn cameras improve people’s trust in police by providing “independent, unbiased, and objective information” on interactions involving police officers and the public.

Audio and video captured on the cameras is uploaded and maintained on a secure digital evidence-management system.

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(8) Comments:

  1. Posted by We want more info, RCMP! on

    What kind of cameras are they using? Will they be on from clock in to clock out? Can the officer turn the cameras on and off at will? What body is governing the footage and why isn’t it a public entity run by regular citizens?

    Because it has been proven that body cameras only reduce crime if the officers cannot turn them off and do not have access to the footage. If they can be turned on and off by the officer at will or they know the footage can be manipulated at a later date then body cameras actually INCREASE the amount of violent force used by officers instead of reducing it.

    • Posted by Questions on

      Proven by who? What studies? Citation please.

    • Posted by G-man Choi on

      You sound like a criminal that is worried about getting a smack down, here’s a thought, DONT be a criminal and you wont have to worry about it.

    • Posted by John K on

      I’m sure you have a source for that very confident claim.

      In your system, when would officers use the bathroom? Or is the assumption that they are to record themselves using the washroom?

  2. Posted by Works both ways on

    The camera will also show the kind of crap the officers have to tolerate.

  3. Posted by Hunter on

    I think this is a great idea. Just not for policy but for all public servants!

    All public servants should be required to wear body cameras so that we the tax payers can make sure our tax dollars are being spent properly.

    Everything in the course of public servants duties and responsibility should be recorded of course with the exception of bathroom breaks, coffee breaks and lunch breaks.

    Admin staff, finance staff, policy makers etc. They all work for us and all the information they \are working with is public. What do our public servants have to hide?

    • Posted by John WP Murphy on

      I think people like Hunter need to use their real names and then see if they make irresponsible comments like that. Somehow I doubt they would like to be laughed at as a result.

      • Posted by Hunter on

        Where are our tax dollars going? I know there is a lot of wastage. These cameras would prove my point that the Government can cut a lot of redundant and duplicate jobs and still provide the same amount of services. We need mor nurses and doctors not administration staff pushing paper creating more red tape to justify their work.


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