Tuesday , 21 March 2023

Alberta police working to mandate body-worn cameras provincewide

Alberta police are working to build trust within their communities by mandating body-worn cameras for all police services in the province. 

Split-second decisions can cause the public to raise concerns about what actions were taken and if appropriate force was used. 

Police officers are responding to more complex calls, requiring responding officers to take a well-thought-out, multi-pronged approach while tensions are escalating. 

These doubts in the police system erode public safety and can create further delays in Alberta’s justice system. 

“Mandating police to wear body-worn cameras is a transformational decision that will ensure all interactions with officers are objective. Whether living in large cities or smaller rural communities, Albertans have the right to feel safe and have trust that police will assist and be fair in doing so,” said Mike Ellis, Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Services, in a press release. 

“Alberta will be the first province to mandate body-worn cameras as we work to position Alberta as a role model for safe, secure communities across the country and North America.” 

Once deployed provincewide, Albertans and police services will be assured that engagements between the public and police will be more transparent. 

With body cameras in place, it will be easier to review interactions with police services, which will help promote accountability for all parties. 

“We remain committed to working with the Alberta government to ensure that the implementation of police body cameras includes anti-racist policies and practices, and that gaps identified in other jurisdictions have been addressed to create a more just and equitable society,” said Dunia Nur, president and CEO, African Canadian Civic Engagement Council, in a press release. 

Body-worn cameras are small cameras worn on a law enforcement officer’s chest or head that do not limit mobility to record interactions with the public.

These cameras have a microphone and internal data storage to save video footage. 

Alberta’s government is partnering with the Alberta Association of Chiefs of Police (AACP) to develop the mandate and standards required to implement the use of these cameras. 

Also working out costs and logistics, this work includes conversations with front-line police officers in Alberta, all municipal police services and the three self-administered Indigenous police services.

“AACP looks forward to receiving details of the body-worn camera mandate to support transparency and further build trust within our communities and welcomes the opportunity to work together to support this,” said Dean LaGrange, chief, Camrose Police Service and vice-president, of Alberta Association of Chiefs of Police, said in a press release.


About Courtney Nielson

Courtney is new to the Lakeland Connect team joining us in November of 2022. Born and raised in Bonnyville, she has a passion for writing and brings with her enthusiasm to report on all current events happening in and around our area. She is the middle of 7 daughters. She loves dance, reading/writing and sports. The competitive drive is strong in this one. She enjoys travelling and has made annual trips driving to the East coast with her family. She is excited to expand her experience with a knowledgeable and supportive team while delivering what's important to the people of the Lakeland.