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Body worn camera project moving forward

(Photo courtesy DRPS)

The next phase of the body worn camera (BWC) program is set to begin in Durham Region.

Durham Regional Police Services (DRPS) will be conducting a phased deployment across the region, over three budget years, after regional council recently approved the funding in the 2021 budget.

The budget includes $2.03 million in funding for this program, which includes costs for technology, services, training, and staffing to support the program.

In this next phase, the BWC team will begin information and consultation sessions with partners, stakeholders and members of the community, followed by the deployment to uniformed, frontline officers. This is expected to occur later in 2021.

DRPS launched the BWC pilot project in June 2018. The year-long deployment saw officers from two platoons in West Division, Regional Traffic Enforcement officers and members of the Festive R.I.D.E. team equipped with the cameras.

They were worn overtly by the officers and were activated during investigative contacts with members of the public.

Following the deployment, the pilot was evaluated, focusing on officer and community perceptions, prosecutions and workload analysis.

The findings were presented to the DRPS board in September 2020, approved and sent to regional council for final approval in February 2021.

DRPS says they will be keeping the community up-to-date on the progress of the project and as the devices are being deployed across the region.