And for for a while, it appeared that was the direction police in most North American cities were headed.
A lot of cities are now having second thoughts as some studies show that maintaining the cameras costs too much money for cameras that are not particularly effective.
For example, an 18-month study of the Washington D.C. police force published in 2017 found that the cameras had “no detectable effect” on the use of force by officers or the volume of civilian complaints.
In January, the Washington Post reported in January that about half of the 18,000 law enforcement agencies in the U.S. were using body cameras.
Which brings us to Canada, where according to an in-depth report by the Huffington Post, adopting body cameras is proceeding at it what it called “a snail’s pace.”
Cities across Canada–including Toronto and Vancouver–are experimenting with the technology and Canada’s national police force,in 2016, the RCMP decided against adopting it.
Calgary and Victoria are using cameras, as are some smaller towns such as Amherstburg, ON and Kentville, N.S.
The chairman of Montreal’s public security committee, Alexander Norris, said the cameras were too costly and ineffective.
“Often, the cases when you would most want the video are the cases when you would be least likely to get it,” Norris said in explaining the city’s decision that followed a pilot project that saw 78 officers wear cameras for a year in 2016-2017.
Here is our conversation.Listen