The new Superintendent of the Wood Buffalo RCMP is hoping body cameras become a new normal for his officers.
Speaking on Fort McMurray Matters, Mark Hancock expressed his support for the devices to hold all police and community members accountable for any potential actions.
Body cameras aren’t currently mandated in Canada, however, officers and detachments across the country are requesting these devices become mandatory.
“It polices the police and polices the community, safety is so important and confidence in the police,” said Hancock.
Until this happens, Hancock believes there are still a few things they can do to raise public trust whenever a situation arises.
This includes being as transparent as possible with the public and making sure vehicle dashcams are always on.
“I want the video camera on all the time – I want people to be able to see what we’re doing, I want to see what my members are doing out there.”
Meanwhile, Hancock also wants to see a mental health crisis team start-up in the region.
These professionals would join officers on calls and intervene when someone may be suffering from a mental illness.
“I think there are certainly times when police are intimidating to people who are maybe having a mental health issue and we have expertise with us, it’s worked in the other communities.”
Edmonton, Calgary, Grande Prairie, and Red Deer already have teams in place.
Hancock says they’re currently in discussions with Alberta Health Services and are hoping to have mental health professionals start joining officers sometime this year.