Wednesday, May 4, 2016

City to introduce body camera for By Law enforcement Officer

An incident dating back to February involving the city's Bylaw enforcement officer has moved the city to introduce a new pilot project designed to ensure the safety of By law enforcement personnel while working alone on city business.

In a media release from April 26th, the City outlined the reasons for the introduction of a body camera project and what impact it will have on the day to day relationship between the bylaw enforcement officer and the public, as well as some other uses for the video that is collected during the pilot project.

This step is being taken to ensure the safety of the City’s Bylaw Officer, who sustained significant injuries in relation to the aforementioned incident. It also provides a way for the City to determine the accuracy of claims made against the Bylaw Officer, and as a means of holding Bylaw enforcement accountable for their actions as well as the publics. 

In compliance with WorkSafe BC Subsection 4.20.2 which requires that employers eliminate hazards or reduce potential risks from hazards, the City’s Human Resources policy requires that employees working alone are adequately protected. 

Video of incidents involving members of the public creates a public record of situations that have the potential to lead to City liability, and ensures a level of accountability on behalf of the public and the City with regards to Bylaw enforcement. 

The corrective action to employ a a Body Worn Camera was accepted by WorkSafe BC as well as the City’s Occupational Health and Safety committees as an appropriate response to ensure worker safety.

As noted in the city's media release, the injuries that were suffered in February by the Bylaw enforcement officer resulted in a review by WorkSafe BC, that organization made note of the incident as part of the inventory of investigations listed on the Worksafe BC website.

The City will review the efficacy of the new equipment and corresponding policy after the first year of its trial implementation, and every six months following that.

Additionally, random footage will be audited on a quarterly basis to assess the standard of conduct of the Bylaw Officer.

The full overview of the City's pilot project can be found here.

The RCMP made note of the incident in March requesting the assistance of the public as they conducted their investigation into the events of February 17th, there has been no update provided by the Prince Rupert detachment to this point on the status of their investigation.

More items related to Civic administration in Prince Rupert can be found on our archive page here.

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