Officers in the Primary Response Units at 43 and 55 Divisions, Traffic Services and TAVIS Rapid Response Teams, approximately 100 officers, have begun testing three pieces of equipment, as part of Toronto Police Service's body-worn camera pilot project.
This testing will take place over one year, at the end of which the Service will evaluate the results and determine how best to move forward. This will include three months of scenario-based testing at the Police College prior to going live in our communities.
At the conclusion of the pilot, recommendations will be presented to the Chief.
The introduction of body-worn cameras may be new to the Toronto Police Service, but they are not new to many other police services.
Most police service in North America are considering their use. Many are already using them. On December 1, 2014, President Barack Obama announced $263 million to provide 50,000 body-worn cameras to police throughout the U.S.A.
Body-worn cameras are unbiased, reliable eyewitnesses to community interactions with the police. They will provide reassurance to community members and police officers.
The Service had lengthy consultations with the Toronto Police Association, the Ministry of the Attorney General, the Information & Privacy Commissioner, the Ontario Human Rights Commission and, most importantly, the officers participating in the pilot project.