Body Worn Camera Pilot Project

Today, the Fredericton Police Force (FPF) launches a three month Body Worn Camera (BWC) pilot project. Three members of the Traffic Safety Section and three members of the Primary Response Team will be participating in the pilot project and will wear a BWC.

 

While preparing our guidelines, we received guidance and best practices from the Access to Information and Privacy Commissioner of New Brunswick, the Office of the Attorney General, the Office of the City Solicitor, other police forces using BWC and the collaboration of the Fredericton Police Force Labor management team.

 

The pilot project is guided by the following five key principles:
 

Collection of evidence

Enhance transparency, public trust and confidence

Enhance officer accountability and professionalism

Assistance in Criminal Code and Police Act investigations

De-escalate a situation

 

 

 

Date:               March 24, 2017                                Fredericton Police Force

Time:             10:30 a.m.                                           311 Queen Street

Contact:         Heidi Cyr                                           Fredericton, New Brunswick          

                        Communications & Public Affairs            E3B 1B1                                     

Phone:           (506) 460-2777/ (506) 259-6758    Email: fpfmedia@fredericton.ca

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Frequently asked questions about the pilot project:

What is the purpose of Body Worn Cameras (BWC)?

BWCs will be used for:

 

Collection of evidence

Enhance transparency, public trust and confidence

Enhance officer accountability and professionalism

Assistance in Criminal Code and Police Act investigations

De-escalate a situation

 

Why are the cameras not recording all the time?

In consideration of the privacy rights of the public the ability to turn off the camera in sensitive situations is required. Cameras that can never be turned off would not allow police officers the ability to balance the privacy rights of individuals with the benefits of collecting evidence for law enforcement purposes.

 

We also have to be mindful of the privacy rights for members wearing the cameras. For example, officers must still be able to take washroom and lunch breaks, have a private conversation, or discuss confidential police tactics without being recorded. One of the main goals of the cameras is to assist the officers in collecting the best evidence possible during an investigation.  

In addition to privacy concerns, the current technology (the life of the battery/potential data storage costs) may not easily provide the ability to record a full shift.

 

How will cameras be distributed to officers?

During the pilot project, BWCs will be worn by three members of the Traffic Safety Section and three members of the Primary Response Team.

 

What happens if I object to being recorded?

Whenever it is safe and practical to do so, a police officer will advise members of the public that they are being recorded. Although a citizen may object to recording, officers will continue to record whenever they are lawfully placed. 

 

How long is footage of my interaction retained for?

Fredericton Police Force will follow New Brunswick policing standards for retention of all videos. Retention is based on the type of offence and the nature of the investigation.

 

How will I know when an incident that I was involved in was captured on a body worn camera?

It is the expectation that should a member of the public have an interaction with a police officer that is investigative in nature, a BWC will be activated. 

 

I was a bystander during an incident involving the Fredericton Police Force, how do I make sure my image is blurred out?

BWC footage provided through the right to information process will be reviewed to ensure that images and audio of people not directly related to an incident are modified through face blurring and distortion of sound, where possible. 

 

How do I request access to footage during an interaction I had with a police officer?

Access to footage can be requested by submitting a right to information request to the FPF via reportrequests@fredericton.ca

 

Will media have access to BWC footage?

Footage from BWCs will be shared with the public and media only when it is deemed necessary for investigative reasons. Should members of the media want access to BWC footage they will need to apply through the right to information process with the FPF. 

 

Is the BWCs policy subject to change over time?

We anticipate that our guidelines will be adjusted overtime as the use of BWCs become more prevalent and the judicial system adapts to the use of BWC footage as evidence.