Toronto Police Just Voted To Start Using Body-Worn Cameras From Next Week
Things are changing for Toronto Police. 📹
After a meeting that has lasted almost an entire day on Tuesday, the Toronto Police Services Board voted to pass a series of recommendations aimed at police reform. The vote was unanimous and included the motion to adopton all officers. The roll-out of these cameras will begin next week.
The news was announced just before 4 p.m. on August 18.
With the motion passed, the police board will sign a contract with Axon Canada to buy 2,350 cameras at a cost of over $34 million for five years, with an additional one-year option, reports CTV's Rahim Ladhani.
Deputy Chief Shawna Coxon said the move is about increasing transparency and accountability within the police service. She added Toronto Police's 23rd Division will be the first to get the cameras, starting next week.
Ahas since garnered over 100,00 signatures in support of introducing body-worn cameras after the death of
Former police Chief Mark Saunders came out in support of the motion after that incident, announcing he would make fast-tracking their introduction a priority.
"This is a textbook case as to why I have been advocating for body-worn cameras and I am now fast-tracking, to the best of my ability, to allow that process to speed up so we can have access to body-worn cameras as soon as possible," he told reporters after Korchinski-Paquet's death.
Not everyone was for the move, though.
The Toronto Star's Wendy Gillis reports that several people, including a Toronto police accountability coalition's spokesperson, called them a "very bad investment" and an unwise way to spend money.
And activist Desmond Cole, who doesn't support body-worn cameras, says the measures don't address the concerns raised by people and advocacy groups who have called in recent months .
“They are completely out of step with the public conversation around defunding and abolishing that’s been going on for months,” Cole told CBC on Tuesday.
The decision comes just a week afterto be stopped, arrested, or even killed in interactions with police than other ethnicities.
At Tuesday's meeting, the police board also gave recommendations on implementing more training on anti-Black racism, as well as expanding mobile crisis teams, per CBC.