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Police officers are responding to calls that are more complex, often requiring responding officers to take a well-thought-out, multi-pronged approach while tensions are escalating. Split-second decisions can cause the public to raise concerns about the actions taken and whether appropriate force was used. These doubts erode public safety and can create further delays in Alberta’s justice system, causing violent criminals to stay on the streets longer.
“Mandating police to wear body-worn cameras is a transformational decision that will ensure all interactions with officers are objective. Whether living in large cities or smaller rural communities, Albertans have the right to feel safe and have trust that police will assist and be fair in doing so. Alberta will be the first province to mandate body-worn cameras as we work to position Alberta as a role model for safe, secure communities across the country and North America.”
Alberta’s government is partnering with the Alberta Association of Chiefs of Police (AACP) to develop the mandate and standards required to implement the use of body-worn cameras provincewide, in addition to working out costs and logistics. This work includes conversations with front-line police officers in Alberta, including all municipal police services and the three self-administered Indigenous police services.
“AACP looks forward to receiving details of the body-worn camera mandate to support transparency and further build trust within our communities and welcomes the opportunity to work together to support this.”
Once deployed provincewide, Albertans and police services will be assured that engagements between the public and police services will be more transparent. With body cameras in place, it will be easier to review interactions with police services, which will help promote accountability for all parties. The most effective way to keep Albertans safe and secure in their communities is to build relationships and trust with the police that serve them.
“We remain committed to working with the Alberta government to ensure that the implementation of police body cameras includes anti-racist policies and practices, and that gaps identified in other jurisdictions have been addressed to create a more just and equitable society.”
Alberta is undergoing a paradigm shift of policing across the province, where police transition from the strong arm of the state to an extension of the community they serve. The most effective way for police to become an extension of the community they serve is by building trust and relationships with the public. Alberta’s police services are professional and highly educated, and Alberta’s government wants the province to be a leader and role model for policing in North America and across the world.
- Body-worn cameras are small cameras worn on a law enforcement officer’s chest or head that do not limit mobility to record interactions with the public.
- These cameras have a microphone and internal data storage to save video footage.
- Alberta will be the first province to mandate all police services to equip officers with body-worn cameras.