Alberta wants to make security cameras mandatory in police departments
Edmonton police are still considering their future when it comes to action cameras.
Alberta's Conservative government will force provincial police to wear action cameras. Tuesday's announcement is being called electioneering by the New Democratic Party (NDP).
Intervention cameras are a video and sound recording device worn on the chest or head of a law enforcement officer and used to film interactions with the public.
We believe mandating the use of action cameras will help enhance public safety, said Public Safety Minister Mike Ellis.
According to him, these cameras will document police behavior in public, gathering better evidence and improving the approach to resolving complex complaints during investigations.
“Forcing police to wear action cameras is a transformational move that will ensure interactions with officers are objective. … Albertans have the right to feel safe and to trust that the police will help them and be fair in this regard.
— Mike Ellis, Alberta Public Safety Minister
NDP says it supports increased transparency to build trust between law enforcement order and communities.
The party is surprised, however, that the announcement is not accompanied by a timetable, a financing plan or an explanation specifying how the amount of data generated by these cameras will be managed.
NDP Justice Critic Irfan Sabir says it's a desperate attempt by Danielle Smith and the United Conservative Party to appear to act on the eve of an election without a real plan.
“Meanwhile, there is a backlog of files at ASIRT [Alberta Serious Incident Response Team]. If the PCU were serious about transparency, it would focus on finalizing these investigations so that Albertans have access to justice.
— Irfan Sabir, Alberta NDP Justice Critic
Government counts on support from Alberta Police Chiefs Alberta to develop the terms of reference and standards needed to implement the use of interventional cameras, in addition to determining costs and logistics.
This work includes discussions with frontline police officers, including municipal police departments and the three self-administered Indigenous police services, says the Department of Public Safety.
Dean LaGrange , chief of the Camrose Police Department and vice-president of the Alberta Association of Chiefs of Police, says he is looking forward to seeing this project come to fruition.
“We are committed to working with the Government of Alberta to ensure that the implementation of action cameras includes anti-racism policies and practices, and that gaps identified in other jurisdictions are addressed to create a more just and equitable society.
— Camrose Police Chief Dean LaGrange
Alberta will be first province to mandate all police services, says Minister Mike Ellis to equip agents with intervention cameras.