Toronto police officers should be held more accountable for their actions through mechanisms such as requiring all officers to wear video cameras on their person.
Pros: Protects officers and citizens from unfounded lawsuits and shows Toronto policy services are receptive to calls for improved public relations, quick win as part of larger toolkit.
Cons: Cost of implementation, argument that it is the tip of the iceberg and funds could be spent on other services: such as increased mental health crisis training for front line officers.
Recent controversial encounters between police officers and individuals in moments of crisis have challenged the public trust of police services. Requiring police officers to wear body cameras would increase public accountability for police officers actions as well as protect police officers from unwarranted criticism or lawsuits. Adding body worn cameras is a low cost, high reward solution to repairing that trust and increasing protection for those in uniform.
Increasing police accountability would have to be part of a larger policy agenda, possibly eventually paired with changes to the armed status of front line officers, that works on both sides of every interaction between police and citizens. In terms of governance, cameras could be paired with changes to the administration of the Police Services internal Special Investigations Unit (SIU).
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