On May 25, 2021 the Ontario Provincial Police announced a year long evaluative study of body worn cameras (BWCs).  The OPP Association fully supports this evaluative study. OPP Association President Rob Stinson and Director Mike Adair attended the training for the officers involved in the evaluation study on April 30, 2021 in Tillsonburg, Ontario.

OPP Association President and CEO Rob Stinson states:

It is our hope at the OPP Association that our members being equipped with body worn cameras will ultimately protect our members and protect the public. We are looking forward to the day that all of our members throughout Ontario are equipped with this technology. We believe that body worn cameras will provide key evidence to enhance trust and transparency for the public, as well as  provide evidence to protect our members from frivolous and vexatious conduct complaints. Our members look forward to complying with all of the necessary training and regulations to ensure the effective performance and evaluation of body worn cameras.

For reference, the press release of the OPP on May 25, 2021 is included below:

(ORILLIA, ON) – Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) is about to begin a yearlong evaluative study of body worn cameras (BWCs).

Beginning on May 25, 2021, the OPP will equip uniform members of the Haldimand Detachment, members of the OPP West Region Emergency Response Team (ERT) and members of the West Region Traffic Incident Management Enforcement (TIME) team with body-worn cameras. This study will help inform broader OPP implementation of new technologies in the future.

OPP officers participating in the evaluative study will have the body-worn camera in plain view, and the camera has lights and indicators showing it has been activated. Officers are trained to give notice as soon as reasonably possible that a body-worn camera is in operation.

OPP officers participating in the study will turn on the body-worn camera prior to arriving at a call for service; at the earliest opportunity, prior to any contact with a member of the public, and where that contact is for an investigative or enforcement purpose. The body-worn camera will be turned off when the call for service or investigation is complete.

The OPP has conducted a comprehensive review of policies and procedures developed by our partner police agencies as it relates to the use and privacy impacts of BWCs. Procedures have been created to address potential privacy concerns and to ensure the security of the video once it has been recorded during the course of this study.  

The OPP supports the implementation and use of tools or technologies that enable collecting better evidence, demonstrate greater accountability and transparency, and enhance public and officer safety in the communities we serve.