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article imageToronto police to test body cameras

By Justin King     Feb 18, 2014 in World
Toronto - After a study revealed massive drops in use of force incidents and reports of police misconduct if officers are required to wear a camera on their uniforms, departments the world over are considering employing cameras to monitor officers.
Toronto’s pilot program will begin this year, though the police department hasn’t worked out all of the details yet. Deputy Chief Peter Sloly explained the process was more involved than simply handing out the cameras; stating that policy, budget, and IT issues need to be finalized.
The study found a 90 percent drop in reports of police misconduct and a 60% drop in incidents where police used force. The Chief of the Rialto Police Department, where the study was conducted, said
When you know you're being watched you behave a little better.
The American Civil Liberties Union has been guardedly supportive of similar programs in the United States.
Cameras have the potential to be a win-win, helping protect the public against police misconduct, and at the same time helping protect police against false accusations of abuse.
Contrary to most situations in the United States, in Montreal the request for the cameras came not from watchdog groups concerned with police brutality, but from the officers of the department who were concerned that YouTube videos were painting the department in a bad light and felt that the cameras would help rebuild public trust.
In the United States, however, New York City’s former mayor did everything possible to avoid having his officers wear the cameras after a federal judge ordered the use due to abuse in the New York Police Department’s “stop and frisk” program.
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