Brampton Mayor Patrick Brown and Mississauga Mayor Bonnie Crombie are expected to move a motion at Friday’s Peel Police Service Board meeting to implement body-worn cameras for Peel police officers. Peel Regional Police has indicated they are open to looking into this option to ensure greater accountability and transparency.
Watch footage of the latest body camera technology recently released by industry leader Axon Enterprises.
Issues have been brought up related to privacy, lack of regulations for officers who wear cameras, and cost. In Toronto, it is estimated that the city would incur a $51 million cost over five years to outfit Toronto police officers with bodycams. Critics also argue that bodycams will not remove anti-Black racism or bring equity on how community safety is delivered.
At a public police meeting in 2016, previous Peel Regional Police Chief Jennifer Evans dismissed the idea, citing a lack of authority over disclosure of information, and exorbitant costs.
Watch Mayor Patrick Brown explain his reasoning during an interview with Neighbourhood Watch Brampton.
Dozens of written delegations from concerned citizens were submitted by residents for the upcoming Peel Police Services Board meeting. Submissions reiterated residents’ beliefs that body-worn cameras are not the answer. One deputation reads: “We the community know that body cams are just a band-aid on a larger structural problem. Body cams will never be enough.”
In another email sent to the board, Sam Yoon asks, “What kind of research and community consultation is this decision being grounded in? It feels as if body cameras are a way to appease the public and superficially tend to this heated political debate.”