Peel Regional Police has acknowledged from the onset of our project that Body-Worn Cameras should not be solely relied upon as a primary tool to improve trust, transparency and relationships within our community. The objective of our Body-Worn Camera project is to improve overall community safety and well-being, with one of the many focuses being on transparency, accountability and trust through the demonstration of our members' professionalism. As we continue to deploy the technology, we have been and continue to conduct community engagement sessions with our external stakeholders, councils, and community members to allow for two-way communication and input/feedback into our project. The input we have received thus far, and continue to receive, has helped us shape our project as a whole.

BWVC - Body-worn video camera

Frequently Asked Questions are divided into the following categories:

Initiative

Who will be wearing Body-Worn Cameras?
All frontline officers, including Patrol Sergeants will be equipped with a body-worn camera. As our project progresses, we continue to plan for deployment of cameras in a varied capacity for non-frontline and investigative bureaus.
When will the rollout be complete?
Body-worn cameras will be fully implemented to frontline officers by late summer, early fall of 2021.
How much is the overall contract?
Peel Regional Police signed a contract with Axon for five years with a total cost of approximately $9 million dollars.

Privacy Guidelines

What accountability mechanisms will be put in place to ensure that these are not an additional surveillance system that will be utilized to over-police?
In addition to the clear direction which has been provided to officers through their Body-Worn Camera training and the existing policy prohibiting covert recording, Peel Regional Police (PRP) has been working the Information & Privacy Commission with our Privacy Impact Assessment throughout our entire project.
What about the interactions where children and youth are involved, what happens with the cameras: do they stay on? What happens to the video?
The purpose of the camera is to record an officer's interaction with the public during the course of their duties. Officers utilizing cameras shall balance privacy rights with law enforcement needs and are subject to guidelines set within our policy and PIA. Officers will use discretion when a child/youth is involved in minimizing them being recorded. The video will be tagged when a child/youth is captured, and if there is no investigative value and our minimum retention schedule is met, the footage will be deleted.
 Are the camera always on?
Body-Worn Cameras are not intended for 24-hour recording. Officers shall activate their camera when interacting with a member of the public, at the earliest opportunity that allows for officer safety. 
How can I be sure the camera is on?
Officers are required to activate their cameras when interacting with a member of the public at the earliest opportunity. The camera must be unobstructed and the officer must advise the individual that the camera has been activated. The forward facing lights on the camera will be flashing 'red' when recording.
Will Body-Worn Cameras be used for Facial Recognition?
Body-Worn Camera footage will not be used as a facial recognition tool.
How does one get access to a video file? Can someone who is captured on the Body-Worn Camera footage have access to that footage?
Chief Duraiappah (or his designate) has the authority to review and release video footage when looking at matters from a public perspective where the Special Investigations Unit (SIU) does not invoke their mandate. An individual who has been captured on cameras during an interaction with an officer has right to review that footage. To retrieve a copy of the footage, the individual will be required to submit a Freedom of Information request. There will be instances when the individual may be able to make arrangements with the respective officer’s supervisor when making a complaint. Upon designation and request by the SIU, both Witness and Subject officers Body-Worn Camera footage will be turned over to the SIU.

Regulation

Will there be any body worn camera policies that will be accessible to the public?
Peel Regional Police has committed to posting our directive on our website for the public to access once it has been formalized.
Will police be able to view their body camera footage prior to writing their police reports? 
Officers shall complete their notes prior to reviewing their Body-Worn Camera (BWC). When a BWC is used, recordings are intended to support the Officer’s observations and shall supplement detailed notebook entries and applicable reports.
Are there policies in place or will there be policies regarding turning the cameras on and off and under what circumstances this can happen within?
Officers must follow the existing policy and guidelines governing the use of their Body-Worn Camera. Officers shall balance privacy rights with law enforcement needs and shall use discretion when de-activating their camera when it is safe to do so and the incident allows for it. 
How long will camera footage be kept?
All data collected by a Body-Worn Camera is subject retention schedule set by our organization and in accordance with existing legislation surrounding Records & Information Management.
Can an officer edit the video? 
Our Digital Evidence Management System, Evidence.com(c), has been built with a robust auditing process. Officers do not have administrative permissions or access to edit or delete footage captured by their Body-Worn Camera. 
If I have been recorded, can I ask to see the video? Can I ask to have it deleted? 

All request to view or edit the data must be made through the relevant provisions of the Municipal Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act (MFIPPA) and through a Freedom of Information Request. Videos will only be deleted in accordance with retention periods.

 

Technology

Technology has security vulnerabilities that could allow a potential hacker to remotely tweak or delete footage, by installing malware such as ransomware that could be spread to other devices. Have these security risks been identified and what workaround have been put in place?
Axon Inc. is a worldwide leader in this technology. During our research and planning phase, extensive work was completed to ensure that Axon's Digital Evidence Management Solution is secure and the proper and appropriate mechanisms in place to mitigate such risks.

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