Body worn camera pilot project producing results for Medicine Hat police

By Ashley Wiebe - CHAT News
November 17, 2017 - 9:15am

MEDICINE HAT - The body worn camera pilot project with the Medicine Hat Police Service is two months in and is generating a lot of evidence for officers.

Numbers presented to the police commission on Thursday night show more than 760 videos have been generated, with an average length of nine minutes.

“[It’s] anything ranging from minor traffic infractions to criminal code offences,” said Inspector Tim McGough following the meeting.

The project was first introduced in September.

Four officers wear the cameras and two others are mounted inside police vehicles.

McGough said officers have already noticed how calming the cameras can be in different situations.

“When our officers are engaged [with] somebody out in the public, when they’re wearing the body worn cameras, they advise the public that they are being video taped,” he said. “We’ve found anecdotally that in the short time we’ve been running the program that it does have a calming effect on those citizens who may be agitated, so that’s a positive thing.”

“You do see these comments on social media that every officer should be wearing a camera and this is certainly going to help give us a taste in Medicine Hat of what it can produce,” said chair Greg Keen.

McGough said none of the video collected so far has been used in court, but the report states “some of the video that has been collected will likely prove to be very useful by the Crown’s office in upcoming court matters.”

The pilot project will continue until February.

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