Haldimand OPP begin wearing body cameras as part of evaluation program

Members of the OPP's Haldimand detachment began wearing bodycams on May 25, 2021 while on duty. @OPP_WR

Some police officers in Haldimand County began wearing bodycams on Tuesday as part of a year-long study into the effectiveness of the devices in the community, according to the Ontario Provincial Police.

The service says the Haldimand detachment as well as the west region’s emergency response team (ERT) and traffic enforcement officers will be equipped with body-worn cameras (BWC).

“This study will help inform broader OPP implementation of new technologies in the future,” the OPP said in a release on Tuesday.

Read more: RCMP body cameras to cost $131M over 5 years, report estimates

“OPP officers participating in the evaluative study will have the body-worn camera in plain view, and the camera has lights and indicators showing it has been activated.”

The devices will be deployed during calls of service and turned on prior to contact with any member of the public for investigative and enforcement purposes.

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The use of BWCs among police has become more and more common across Canada, with major police forces in Toronto and Peel Region and the RCMP having embarked on programs in 2020 in the hopes of improving trust among officers and the general public.

Canadian Mounties moved forward with a plan in early 2021 to outfit their officers with close to 13,000 body-worn cameras at an estimated cost of $130 million over five years.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau voiced his support for BWCs last June when the RCMP was facing criticism for a video from a bystander showing an officer in Nunavut using a truck door to knock a man over.

An investigation by the Ottawa Police Service determined the arrest was lawful.

—With files from The Canadian Press


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