News / Calgary

CPS frontline officers eager for new body-worn camera program

Technological glitches caused Calgary police to return their first purchase of body-worn cameras

From left to right, Const. Ottis Scott-Sabula, Const. Trevor Marquis and Staff Sgt. Todd Robertson are all wearing body cameras, which have since been returned to the manufacturer due to software glitches.

Lucie Edwardson / Metro

From left to right, Const. Ottis Scott-Sabula, Const. Trevor Marquis and Staff Sgt. Todd Robertson are all wearing body cameras, which have since been returned to the manufacturer due to software glitches.

Calgary police frontline members are as anxious as citizens when it comes to getting body worn cameras because it makes gathering evidence easier, according to Acting Deputy Chief James Hardy.

Metro reported last February on technological glitches putting a hitch in the CPS’ plans to roll out a body-worn camera program amongst their ranks by year end. Audio interferences between units, something the CPS believed put officer safety at risk, resulted in the return of the cameras to the manufacturer. 

Hardy said he’s received calls and emails from frontline members wondering what the hold up is, and he said they’re committed to rolling out a pilot project in the new year.  

“I can tell you our officers are anxious to get these cameras. I’m getting phone calls and emails from them asking for timelines,” he said. “It’s going to take several months.”

Hardy said although there’s no specific time frame on the roll out, what they’ve learned from officers is that the cameras help them collect more accurate evidence.

“The evidentiary portion of those cameras is phenomenal,” he said. “I wish I would have had them as a young police officer.”

When wearing a body camera, Hardy said it allows an officer to narrate what is happening when they respond to a call, which makes it easier to write up case notes.

“They’ll be able to present to the court a really good encapsulating piece of what’s happened there—great evidence,” he said.

Hardy said since their first procurement process a lot of new technology has hit the market—which makes him optimistic CPS officers will have the best technology available at the end of this process. 

“There are way more vendors, we know there are different types of cameras, they capture differently, they activate differently and even how we can move it into our integrated systems—we’re looking to see what’s out there,” he said.

CPS seeks new vendor

The Calgary Police Service (CPS) has put out a new request for information (RFI) stating they’re considering updating their body worn cameras (BWC) and in-car digital-video (ICDV). 

The RFI will remain open until Nov. 14 and indicates that CPS is particularly interested in a solution that integrates all digital assets with special attention given to integrating BWCs and ICDVs into one system with a shared front-end user interface and back-end video management system.

“Ideally, the solution would include multiple camera deployments on a network, and product options for a law enforcement environment,” said the RFI. 

The CPS said they’d want the new purchase to include secure digital storage, encryption, automated retention dates and have the ability to be customized to multiple user groups with varied levels of access and the ability to generate statistical reports, with easily retrievable data.

Metro Savers