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Next phase of body worn camera project set to begin

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

Durham Regional Police Services has reached an agreement with AXON Public Safety Canada Inc to provide the organization with body worn cameras.

The findings of the BWC pilot project were presented to the Police Services Board in September 2020. The board recommended the adoption of body worn cameras as part of their draft Action Plan for Enhancing Trust and Confidence in Policing in Durham Region.

The funding was approved by Durham Regional Council in February 2021.

The contract is for a five-year term, beginning June 29, 2021 and will provide up to 600 cameras and related software to DRPS officers. The cost to DRPS for this contract is approximately $882,000 per year for a total of $4.4 million over the five-year term.

DRPS will be conducting a phased deployment across the region.

The 2021 budget includes $2.03 million in funding for the program, which includes costs for technology, services, training and staffing.

In this current phase, DRPS says the BWC team has begun structuring the training, and the body worn cameras will be deployed to uniform frontline officers in Pickering, Ajax, and communities in north Durham beginning in September 2021.

Community consultation will continue throughout the program by engaging with community partners and stakeholders.

The DRPS welcomes any feedback. Anyone with any concerns or questions can contact the BWC office at