Two RCMP officers per shift in Iqaluit will begin wearing body cameras on Monday as part of a pilot project.
The second phase of the program will expand to four officers per shift, beginning on Jan. 11. The third phase will involve six officers per shift, as of Feb. 15.
“It is critically important for Nunavummiut to feel protected and respected by the police in order to enhance trust between the RCMP and the communities in Nunavut,” states a Friday news release from the police force.
To help Nunavummiut become informed about the body camera pilot project, Mounties will distribute posters and pamphlets, in multiple languages, throughout the city. There is also an RCMP website with numerous details about the program found here: https://www.rcmp-grc.gc.ca/en/nu/body-worn-cameras-iqaluit?fe
In regards to citizens’ rights and protection of privacy, the police force has posted the following information online:
Officers may turn the camera on during calls for service, including:
-mental health calls
-interactions with people in crisis
-crimes in progress
-they may also turn the camera on when they interact with the public, but not in every situation.
If possible, officers will let you know when the camera is recording. You can tell the camera is recording by the light above the lens. Green means the camera is on and red means it’s recording. These lights will always be on, unless the officer turns them off for their safety (in low- or no-light situations).
You can ask the officer to turn off the camera. The officer will consider your right to privacy versus the nature of the call, the location, and the situation. Based on this, they may or may not turn off the camera. If you disagree, you can:
-contact the detachment
-make a public complaint
-make a privacy complaint about the RCMP
As a bystander to a call for service, you might be caught on video even if you’re not involved in the call. To protect your privacy, the RCMP will:
-blur your face and/or licence plate
-mute or distort your voice
You can make an access to information request to get a copy of a video.
“We want to speak with you and learn about what you think of our officers wearing these cameras,” said Insp. Adam MacIntosh, operations officer for the Nunavut RCMP.