Cobourg Police Service Community Consultation on Body-Worn Cameras

In Editor Choice, Local, Police Blotter

Cobourg Police Service launches survey on use of body-worn cameras

The Cobourg Police Service, with the support of the Cobourg Police Services Board, is launching a survey to gain feedback into the use of body-worn cameras and the impact on the community.

Police services across Canada are considering the use of body-worn cameras as a tool for accountability and public safety. The Cobourg Police Service wants to hear the community’s opinions on the use of body-worn cameras in terms of police accountability, community safety, and privacy. This survey will gauge the perceptionsand beliefs of our community.

“The Cobourg Police Services Board is committed to exploring initiatives that increase the efficiency and effectiveness of police operations while building transparency and reciprocal trust between our citizens and police. In June, the Board committed to exploring the use of body-worn cameras in Cobourg. Chief VandeGraaf’s report was the first step,” says Dean Pepper, Chair of the Cobourg Police Services Board. “Hearing public opinion is critical as we work to ensure that every decision has community and personal safety as our top priority. The feedback we receive from the community will inform the next steps. I encourage everyone to complete the survey.”

“With recent events across the United States and Canada, there has been increased discussion about transparency in policing. Body-worn cameras have entered the public discourse as a potential tool to increase police accountability, but opinions on their use can be polarizing. On Tuesday, I presented an initial report on some of the available research on body-worn cameras in policing to the Cobourg Police Services Board. Based on an objective in our strategic plan, which outlines more opportunities to engage our citizens and how new technology can impact community safety, I made a recommendation for public consultation on body-worn cameras before proceeding further,” says Paul VandeGraaf, Chief of the Cobourg Police Service. “This motion was unanimously supported by members of the Police Services Board. With the full support of the Board, we welcome everyone to share their thoughts on the use of body-worn cameras. Our survey also includes some questions at the end about the use of Closed-circuit television (CCTV) as we prepare a report to the Board on the use of cameras in the Town of Cobourg.”

With a clearer understanding of the public’s opinion, the Cobourg Police Service and the Cobourg Police Services Board will direct further discussions and exploration on the benefits and limitations of the use of body-worn cameras and the costs associated with body-worn cameras in the fall.

How to complete the survey
For Cobourg residents and business owners who want to be identified, you can complete your survey by visiting EngageCobourg.ca

For non-residents or Cobourg residents and business owners who want to submit the survey anonymously, please visit cobourgpoliceservice.com and click the survey link on the homepage.

This survey will be conducted from July 23rd to August 14th, 2020. The results will be shared at the Cobourg Police Services Board meeting in August and reviewed further in September to help inform the next steps

Pete Fisher
Author: Pete Fisher

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