Public Consultation on Draft Body-Worn Camera Policy
The Toronto Police Services Board (Board) is pleased to invite members of the public to contribute to the development of its Body-Worn Camera (BWC) Policy.
BWCs are being deployed as one tool – among the many reforms initiated by the Board – to improve accountability, address systemic racism, and build public trust in the Toronto Police Service (the Service). In addition to these goals, BWCs will also improve the police services delivered by providing improved evidence and disclosure for the justice and complaints system.
The Board Office is currently developing a Board Policy for the governance of BWCs, to ensure that this tool achieves these important goals while, at the same time, protecting the rights and privacy of members of the public. If approved by the Board, this Policy will provide the Chief of Police with direction on what the Service’s Procedures – which will govern officers and the entire Service on the use of BWCs – must address.
The consultation process began with a review of the comments the Board heard during its July Town Hall meetings, many of which referred to possible concerns with the deployment of BWCs. These concerns informed and guided the development of the initial draft Policy. The Board Office then held consultations with a number of external stakeholder organizations, including: the Ontario Information and Privacy Commissioner (IPC), the Canadian Civil Liberties Association (CCLA), the Ontario Human Rights Commission (OHRC), the Special Investigations Unit (SIU), the Office of the Independent Police Review Director (OIPRD), the Ontario Association of Police Services Boards (OAPSB), the Ontario Association of Chief of Police (OACP), the Toronto Police Association (TPA), and the Senior Officers’ Organization (SOO). Internally, the Board consulted with the Service’s Internal Support Networks (ISNs), and the Police and Community Engagement Review (PACER) team. The Board is grateful to all of these organizations for the important feedback, which helped shape this draft Policy.
The draft Policy developed through these initial stages emphasizes the need to ensure clarity and consistency in activating BWCs, to ensure all interactions with the public are captured on camera, while also protecting the privacy of members of the public through strict restrictions on access to recordings by Service Members. The draft Policy also ensures members of the public have access to recordings of their own interactions with the Service. Finally, the draft Policy provides for robust auditing and public reporting on Service compliance and the impacts of BWCs, including costs, as well as regular reassessments of the effectiveness of this tool in consultation with the community.
While we continue to engage with stakeholders, we are now inviting the general public to take part in this policy development process.
Any member of the public can participate in this process in the following ways:
- Through completing our online form (accompanied by a guide to assist) on the Policy:
- Members of the public are encouraged to provide written comments to the Board using the form provided at https://tpsb.ca/consultations-and-publications/body-worn-cameras-policy-public-consultation. Submissions should be submitted no later than November 5, 2020. Submissions will form part of the public record, and will be made public on the Board's website at a later date.
- By attending a virtual presentation on the Policy, with an opportunity to ask questions and provide feedback (dates TBD):
- The Board Office will also host two webinar events to review the Policy and Procedure and answer questions from the public. Additional details on these webinars will be provided on the Board’s website shortly.
The Board wishes to thank all individuals and organizations participating in this consultation process. This is an important and complex issue and your thoughts and perspectives are very much valued as we work through the various elements that will make up this Policy. Through your input, you are helping us to ensure that all the residents of Toronto can enjoy fair, effective and accountable policing services.
Contact: Sandy Murray