The Lethbridge Police Service could have a body camera pilot project up and running by late this year or early next year.
Chief Scott Woods says the initiative has been underway for over a year as the research and implementation of body cams is part of the service’s 2019-2022 four year business plan.
He says the cost of the equipment isn’t too bad, but storing the collected data could be pricey.
“If we have 25 to 40 body cameras on a 12 hour shift and officers continually filming their interactions from the calls for service they go to. That data has to go in and be stored and those volumes of data become greater and greater. Some of that digital storage is kept for up to 25 years”, Chief Woods stated.
Woods says the LPS is currently researching a couple of body cam vendors. He notes body cameras for officers won’t solve all the problems, but it is a start in the right direction. “How we are truly going to solve problems is through relationships, listening and hearing concerns that are brought forward to us and working together and forging a path forward”.
The Chief says body cameras can provide a level of transparency, but it’s only one step toward building trust with the public.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced Monday he would be speaking with Canadian premiers about equipping police officers with body cameras, adding transparency and accountability is very important.