RCMP to postpone use of Body Worn Cameras

December 7, 2016
Ottawa, Ontario

News release

The RCMP announced yesterday that following an extensive feasibility study on the potential implementation of Body Worn Cameras (BWC) it will postpone a force wide implementation until such time as available technology can meet its specific operational requirements.

The potential implementation of BWC would require that the RCMP purchase thousands of units to be distributed in over 750 detachments. The RCMP needs to have confidence in the product and ensure that the choice of technology justifies the investment of tax payer's money.

Worn on the police uniform or as a mounted head piece the body worn camera is a recording device that captures police interactions with the public. Both video and audio are recorded and can be used later as evidence if required.

For the past three years, Contract and Aboriginal Policing (CAP) has been conducting research and pilot testing of various Body Worn Camera (BWC) models in RCMP divisions.

"As a modern police force, the RCMP recognizes the importance of constantly researching new equipment to be used in operational settings, and we will continue to assess new BWC technologies as they become available" said RCMP Deputy Commissioner Kevin Brosseau, Contract and Aboriginal Policing.

Meanwhile the RCMP will continue to work closely with the Office of the Privacy Commissioner to ensure privacy considerations are assessed when body worn cameras are deployed in operational settings.

For more information see Update on Body Worn Camera project

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Contact information

RCMP National Media Relations
613-843-5999
RCMP.HQMediaRelations-DGRelationsmedias.GRC@rcmp-grc.gc.ca

Update on Body Worn Camera project

In October 2013, the RCMP Commissioner launched the Body Worn Camera (BWC) project to determine its feasibility as a possible tool for our frontline membership. The project evaluated all aspects of BWC, the most challenging being privacy, legal and recording storage issues. As these issues were being addressed, we began identifying the technical requirements for the equipment itself.

Following an extensive feasibility study on BWC, the RCMP has concluded that the current technology poses several challenges such as limited battery life and lack of camera durability. Based on the results, the decision was made to not implement BWC force-wide for general duty members.

The potential implementation of BWC would require that the RCMP purchase thousands of units to be distributed in over 750 detachments. The RCMP needs to have confidence in the product and ensure that the choice of technology justifies the investment at this time.

The nature of policing performed by the RCMP makes it challenging to identify a BWC model that meets all our needs. Until then, the RCMP will continue to purchase and test new models in operational settings, and to support rapid deployment as requested by divisional operations, with the goal of eventually identifying a camera that meets our specific needs.

Finally, in December 2013, Contract and Aboriginal Policing (CAP) National Criminal Operations (NCROPS) issued a communique to CROPS Officers stating members are not to use personal BWC technology of any kind. All members must continue to follow this directive.

We will keep you informed of further development as they occur.

D/Commr. Kevin Brosseau
Contract and Aboriginal Policing

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