Iqaluit RCMP don body cameras ahead of national rollout
City one of 3 regions marked for final field tests
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.
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.