February 6, 2018 3:51 pm
Updated: February 6, 2018 3:55 pm

Front-line Calgary police officers to soon start wearing body-worn cameras

A body-worn camera used by members of the Calgary Police Service.

Global News

Calgary police officers will soon be testing out body-worn cameras while out on patrol as part of the Calgary Police Service’s (CPS) bodycam testing phase.

“Front-line officers in a variety of locations throughout the city are testing 47 cameras from three different suppliers,” CPS said in a news release.

The hands-on phase will take about three months and the data collected will help the force choose the camera supplier.

About 250 cameras will be distributed among officers by the end of the year, police said.

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READ MORE: Calgary seeks new body camera supplier for police officers after recalling original tech

It’s hoped all officers will be equipped with a bodycam by the second quarter of 2019.

“The hands-on testing allows officers to test the technology as they carry out their policing duties and interact with the public,” CPS said.

“Footage captured on the cameras during this time will be considered evidence.”

The city started the process of looking for a new body camera supplier in September of last year, after terminating its contract with Safety Innovations in September 2016 citing safety concerns.

The body-worn camera project started with a pilot project that got underway in November 2012.

Safety Innovations was awarded the original $753,685 contract in January 2015. Those cameras were recalled in February 2016 due to “technical issues resulting in the compromise of officer safety,” police said at the time.

Police said the body-worn cameras will achieve five key goals:

  1. Enhance transparency, public trust and confidence
  2. Collection of evidence
  3. Enhance officer accountability and professionalism
  4. Protect officers from unfounded allegations of misconduct
  5. De-escalate a situation

Watch from Sept. 2017: Calgary Police Deputy Chief Bob explains what he has heard from frontline officers regarding body-worn cameras.

© 2018 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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