RCMP to evaluate body camera program, seek community input
Officers to stop wearing cameras June 1
Iqaluit RCMP officers will stop wearing body cameras as of June 1, as the pilot program moves into an evaluation phase.
Over the last several months, police have recorded mental health calls, investigations and crimes in progress, according to a news release from RCMP.
The release states the captured footage can show what happens during police stops, can be used as evidence in court and can encourage better police and public behaviour.
The project evaluation will include feedback from the public. Community members can give their input by completing a confidential online survey.
The city’s officers took on the pilot project in November after a growing call for the use of body cameras to increase transparency in policy interactions with the public.
Iqaluit city council approved it a week after a video had surfaced on social media, showing an officer in Kinngait knocking an Inuk man down with the door of his vehicle.
This incident added to a nationwide demand for the use of body cameras last year in the months following the murder of George Floyd at the hands of a Minneapolis, Minn., police officer.
“Canadians need to feel protected and respected by the police,” states the release.
“Body-worn cameras can help to increase the trust and transparency between police and the communities they serve.”
The police plan to share the results of the evaluation publicly, according to the release. They did not say when that will happen.