News

Reveal body cameras capture weapons and beer cans

04-06-2015

 

Three weeks into a pilot project that will see front-line officers wear Reveal body cameras for a year, Toronto police personnel have captured video of everything from armed encounters to beer cans.

The force introduced a range of cameras May 18. So far 65 officers are using them, with 35 more to adopt the devices within a month, according to Staff Sgt. Michael Barsky, who's overseeing the trial.

That includes constables on bicycle patrol in 43 Division in Scarborough, patrol car officers at 55 Division in the Riverdale-Danforth-Woodbine area, and motorcycle officers doing traffic enforcement.

"We believe that from all the studies that we've done and all the resources that we've spoken to, that this will create a better, more accurate record of the police interactions with the community," Barsky said.

There has been some "great" video captured, he said. "We have interactions with people armed with weapons, captured on camera, captured by multiple cameras and multiple angles, which is powerful."

"Actual beer cans lying around"

body camera wearing officers on bicycle patrol in scarborough

A news team that followed a 43 Division bicycle patrol one day this week saw less dramatic scenes, however. Officers used their cameras to film people outside an apartment building in Scarborough's West Hill neighbourhood.

"My officers are investigating a gentleman that doesn't reside at this building, that's hanging around outside the doors. He's got open liquor and he has been consuming alcohol out in public, so he's being investigated for that," patrol leader Sgt. Bernard Hawco said.

“Some part of the best evidence that I've seen being captured by the officers over there is the actual beer cans lying around."

Hawco said the man would be ticketed.