The Winnipeg Police Service is looking at testing body cameras on 800 officers but it is not clear when this will begin. Click here to read the article on the Winnipeg Free Press. It will be a pilot program that will determine what sort of policies and rules should be in place around the use of body cameras with police officers in the city. Some policing agencies in the United States have already tested the idea of each officer wearing a small camera and then video recording interactions with citizens.
As a criminal lawyer, I would encourage this program to move forward. It would ensure police officers are following the Charter of Rights and Freedoms and be on their best behaviour. It would also help protect the police from false accusations of excessive force or inappropriate conduct. Everyone typically acts better when they know they are being watched, it is called the Hawthorne Effect. It would help me get to the bottom of cases quicker because I could show my clients the video and then confirm their version of events.
About the author
Michael Dyck is a partner at Rees & Dyck Criminal Defence. He represents clients primarily from Winnipeg, Steinbach, and rural Manitoba. He has extensive experience helping people charged with criminal offences and focuses on building legal strategy with clients. To read more of his articles, please visit his partner's website TomRees.ca.