DELTA POLICE DEPARTMENT BOARD REPORT
a. THAT the Delta Police Board authorize the amendment of the Body-Worn Camera Policy OD19 to include deployment by the Patrol Services Section for a six-month pilot project from February 2023 to July 2023.
b. THAT the Delta Police Board approve the purchase of four (4) additional Body-Worn Cameras and associated equipment for approximately $6,400.
This report serves three interconnected purposes:
1. To advise the Delta Police Board (DPB) of the results of the five (5) step process used to determine the next steps/expansion of the DPD body-worn camera (BWC) program.
2. To receive DPB approval to deploy BWCs to the Patrol Services Section for a six-month pilot project beginning in February 2023 and ending in July 2023.
3. To receive DPB approval for the purchase of four (4) additional BWCs to support the Patrol Services Section pilot project
The current use of BWCs at Delta Police Department (DPD) is authorized in the following situations: use at a protest, demonstration or other organized or spontaneous event that is unlawful or characterized by unlawful activity; use for training, involving the recording only of members or persons who have provided their informed consent; use for Interdiction Team policing activities directed at gang violence prevention; and
use by members assigned to the Traffic Section, in the course of stopping vehicles and engaging with persons therein.
The DPD currently has 16 BWCs, and their purchase has cost approximately $9,000. While the total cost of purchasing the BWCs and associated equipment was $18,000, approximately half of the cost ($9,000) was funded by a ‘Police Training and Equipment Grant’ from the provincial Civil Forfeiture Office.
5-Step Process Evaluation Findings
The DPD has evaluated whether the BWC program should be expanded to other frontline sections of the DPD. A five-step process was utilized for the evaluation, and a summary of key findings for each step is provided below. Accompanying reports provide comprehensive information for each step of the process
93.3% of the local community supports the expansion of the BWC program.
Police legitimacy and public trust are emerging themes in the current policing landscape; the community consultation shows that as part of the modern policing landscape, the community of Delta expects DPD officers to wear BWCs when interacting with the public.
This process was a valuable learning opportunity; results indicated that storage concerns are the primary concern/question regarding BWCs. There is misinformation in the community that BWC footage will be stored on cloud servers costing millions in annual storage fees. See “Storage of Footage” for further information.
Tsawwassen First Nation (TFN) Chief and Executive Council also support the expansion of the BWC program. Conduct an audit of BWC usage The audit yielded high compliance with DPD policy and BC Provincial Policing Standards (BCPPS) on BWCs
100% compliance with 11 of the 14 compliance requirements and very high compliance with the other 3 requirements
Strategies and initiatives are being developed to ensure that, going forward, the DPD maintains the same excellent level of compliance with the BCPPS and policy and specifically, is able to remedy the slightly lower compliance with requirements. Examine the B.C. Association of Chiefs of Police (BCACP) BWC Committee’s recommendations
BCACP BWC Committee is working to identify lessons learned & best practices from those who have deployed BWCs. Deputy Chief Harj Sidhu of the DPD is the Co-Chair of the Provincial Committee, is up to date on the recommendations, and has led the Committee.
A draft generic policy has been drafted using DPD Policy OD19 as the framework & by examining RCMP BWC policy.
When the final generic policy is released in 2023, DPD’s will ensure alignment of DPD policy OD19 with the final version of the BC-wide policy, enhancing the DPD policy
Policy adjustments See above.
Review global research/experiences on BWCs
Empirical research 1 has yielded a mix of positive & null findings, though largely positive.
Theoretical/conceptual research has yielded a mix of positive, negative & null findings.
Limitations and differences in study designs likely contribute to mixed results.
Issues exist with using meta-analysis research to analyze BWC benefits due to unstandardized methodology.
Empirical research 2 has provided consistent & statistically significant findings on BWCs ability to reduce public complaints against officers and use of force, amongst other benefits.
Canadian empirical research has generated favorable results, especially for public perception of policing and police legitimacy
Research has found strong support/expectations from communities for police use of BWCs
Numerous studies, including those conducted in Canada, have shown that BWC footage provides valuable insight that can legitimize officer-public interactions, provide evidence in court, or offer an unbiased alternative to misconduct allegations
Public attitudes toward BWCs, have been generally positive, and public perception around the requirement for officers to wear BWCs is usually high, which has implications of deploying BWC to instill public trust and confidence in policing.
In 1829, Sir Robert Peel, the "Father of Modern Policing," proposed nine (9) principles for ethical policing; these principles have remained the foundation for police success over the past two centuries. 3 In one of his principles, Sir Robert Peel highlights the significant role of public confidence and trust in policing for effective the functioning of police, which must be considered in the deployment of BWCs.
To recognize always that the power of the police to fulfill their functions and duties is dependent on public approval of their existence, actions and behavior, and on their ability to secure and maintain public respect 4
Patrol Services Section Pilot Project Overview
1 Theoretical/conceptual research involves abstract ideas or concepts that may make connections between empirical studies to define or advance a theoretical position
2 Empirical research is evidence-based; it includes observable phenomena and can be measured as it is based on data gathered by original experiments or observations, including randomized control trials.
3 7 Law Enforcement Action Partnership – Sir Robert Peel’s Policing Principles
The key findings highlighted above offer positive results in support of the BWC program. In light of these findings, combined with the successes of the previous projects (Traffic Section and Interdiction Team), DPB authorization is being sought for a pilot project deploying BWCs for the Patrol Services Section from February 2023 to July 2023 (six-months).
The pilot would be implemented following the existing policy regulating the usage of BWCs, which is aligned with the BC Provincial Standards (BCPPS).
Under the pilot project, two officers from each of the four platoons/shifts will be equipped with a BWC. A total of eight (8) officers will participate in the pilot project. The Senior Management Team will work with the respective teams to determine which officers will participate in the pilot project. Those selected for the pilot project will deploy the BWCs following existing policy during their duties.
Patrol Services Section Pilot Project Outcomes
The Patrol Services Section pilot will be evaluated by the Senior Leadership Team throughout the sixmonths to ensure it is meeting the expectations of the community and the Department.
The below noted principles will guide the implementation of the pilot project, with community, operational and administrative outcomes assessed using officer and community feedback, alongside other necessary data. The approach to measure outcomes puts DPD’s community-first policing philosophy at the forefront.
1. Enhance transparency, public trust and confidence in policing (citizen satisfaction)
Monitor feedback received throughout pilot project period
2. Enhance officer safety by discouraging use of force against police
3. De-escalate high-conflict situations to avoid use of force by police
Count of SBOR reports submitted by officers deploying BWCs
4. Provide real-life training examples and insight into policing/public encounters to assist with training initiatives
Examples of footage used for training
Training Section feedback
5. Assist in complaint resolution about alleged officer misconduct, implying cost savings
Count of complaints received
Informal vs. formal processing of complaints
6. Enhance evidence documentation, implying cost savings
Count and examples of BWC footage used for evidentiary purpose and assistance in disclosure/case processing at the judicial level.
Findings on the outcomes will be reported to the Board at the conclusion of the pilot project.
The use of BWCs by DPD officers is regulated by B.C. Provincial Policing Standard (BCPPS) 4.2.1. The DPD has further established a policy (Policy OD19 Body-Worn Cameras) in alignment with the BCPPS, which received the Delta Police Board’s approval on December 16, 2020. All officers must comply with the DPD policy during BWC deployment. It is important to note that under Policy OD19, members record their interactions with the public in an overt capacity as part of their law enforcement duties.
DPD Policy OD19 thoroughly lays out the circumstances under which DPD officers may use the BWCs; indiscriminate and continuous recording is not permitted. These circumstances include:
• where the member makes an assessment that use may assist in de-escalating a situation by affecting the behaviour of individuals who are aware of the recording in-progress;
• where a supervisor makes the assessment that to use may enhance operational remotesituational-awareness;
• where an arrest or detention is likely to result;
• during an arrest and detention;
• when providing a Charter and Caution;
• when issuing a legal notice or demand, such as a notice of violation of a court order;
• where violent or aggressive behaviour, or police use of force is anticipated;
• where an offence may have occurred, or a charge may be laid; and
• when used to develop training resources, if those present consent to being recorded.
Municipal Police Agencies, through the B.C. Association of Chiefs of Police (BCACP) BWC Committee, have been working to develop a draft generic policy using DPD Policy OD19 as the framework. When the final generic policy is released in spring 2023, DPD will ensure alignment of Policy OD19 with the final version of the generic BC-wide policy, further enhancing the DPD policy. This process will be completed through the appropriate channels and approvals (Governance Committee of the DPB and the full DPB).
Further, the DPD’s collection and secure management of BWC-derived footage are informed by and comply with a BWC program-specific Privacy Impact Assessment and the B.C. Freedom of Information & Protection of Privacy Act (BC FOIPPA).
Response of DPD Officers re: BWC Program
Consultation with the Delta Police Association (DPA) has been conducted. The DPA is in support of advancing the BWC program for DPD officers.
The deployment of BWCs by the Interdiction Team and Traffic Section has shown that while some officers were initially uncomfortable and apprehensive of the usage and operation of BWCs, it was overcome by education and awareness. Through the training program and ongoing mentoring, Sgt. Ingram 5 brought awareness and acceptance of the BWC program. The acceptance and awareness have now become visible with Sgt. Ingram being approached by frontline Patrol members inquiring when they will be getting BWCs, as they have heard from officers of the Interdiction Team and Traffic Section about their value.
5 Sgt. Jim Ingram, in charge of the DPD’s Public Safety Operations Section is a subject matter expert on deployment of BWCs and the primary trainer for BWC operators.
Pending DPB approval of the pilot project, Sgt.Ingram, a subject matter expert for BWCs, will deliver inhouse training for the BWC deployment to the Patrol Services Section. The training program is approximately three (3) hours delivered prior to an officer deploying a BWC, including content such as policy matters and the operation of the BWC. There will be no extra costs for training as Sgt. Ingram will train the officers during their regularly scheduled shifts. Additional training and mentoring will be provided on an ongoing basis.
Additionally, should the DPB approve the pilot, DPD will ensure public awareness of the DPD’s Patrol Services Section deploying BWCs through print, online and social media mechanisms. There has previously been significant media coverage around the DPD’s deployment of BWCs for the Interdiction Team and Traffic Section, also creating public awareness The recent approval by the City of Vancouver Council to equip Vancouver Police Department officers with BWCs brought additional awareness to the DPD program as the DPD still remains the only Department in the province to deploy BWCs operationally.
Storage of Footage
One of the previous considerations around BWCs has been the costs associated with storing the data. The Digital Evidence Management System (DEMS), through PRIME BC, will be used to storage BWC footage.
PRIME BC is the same records management system used by DPD and other Departments in B.C. for police records management (police files)
PRIME has implemented a mandatory DEMS levy, chargeable to all Police Departments at $650.00/member, irrespective of whether the Department stores BWC footage. The levy is for all types of digital evidence management, including storage for other types of evidence (e.g. photos, other videos). The annual levy cost to the DPD is approximately $156,000. DEMS was budgeted and approved in the 2022 budget and is incorporated in all future operational budgets
Access to/Retrieval of Footage
The DPD has established strict policy and digital oversight to ensure the footage captured by the cameras is only accessible to the investigating officer, their supervisor and others with an investigative or documented need to see the footage. The access is tracked through a detailed audit and logging function. The ability to view recordings is tightly controlled, and original recordings are not allowed to be altered, overwritten or deleted by the officers recording the content.
Additionally, Crown and Legal Counsel will have access through disclosure. Other agencies, such as the Independent Investigations Office, will be granted access as required. Individuals who have been recorded may also request a copy of the video footage in accordance with the Freedom of Information & Protection of Privacy Act.
Recordings will be automatically deleted after 12 months unless required as evidence or for training purposes. The retention period for such recordings will be subject to provincial retention periods specific to the offence type involved in the file. The retention periods have been created by the Police Services Division (PSD) of the Province of British Columbia under the Police Act (RSBC 1996, c. 367), the
Limitation Act (RSBC 1996, the Rules Regarding Training, Certification of Municipal Constables (British Columbia Regulation, 109/81), the Workers Compensation Act (RSBC 1996, c. 492), the Criminal Code of Canada (R. S. C. 1985, C-46) and the Royal Canadian Mounted Police Act (R. S. C. 1985, R10). 6
The DPD can currently manage the processing and retrieval of footage with existing staffing/resources. However, as the program gradually expands across DPD, one (1) junior-level police staff will be required to handle the processing of requests that may come from the public through FOIPPA, court-related disclosures and other agencies (e.g. OPCC, IIO). The DPD will look to find internal efficiencies for this position; however, should there be a need to hire for this position, the expected annual cost will be $84,738 (including wages and benefit loading).
The Patrol Services Section pilot project requires eight (8) BWCs and associated equipment. The DPD can re-purpose four (4) existing BWCs and needs to purchase four (4) additional BWCs and associated equipment to support the project. The cost for four (4) BWCs and associated equipment is approximately $6,400 and available within the DPD budget.
Strategic Alignment: Community Safety & Well-Being Plan
Priority: invest in professionalization and innovation for continuous improvement Goal: leverage technology to enhance and develop efficiencies for continuous improvement
DPD Policy OD19 Body-Worn Cameras
The utilization of BWCs by the DPD Interdiction Team and Traffic Section has previously shown multifaceted benefits. As outlined in the findings of the evaluation process, there is also strong support and expectation from the community for DPD to deploy BWCs, which has implications for public confidence and trust in policing and police legitimacy.