Fredericton police officers are now fully equipped with body cameras roughly six years after a pilot program that showed promising results.
Officials from the Fredericton Police Force said in late July it had deployed 48 more body cameras to its front-line patrols.
The first 12 were deployed during a 2017 pilot project. Now, the force said all platoons, equalling out to 60 officers, have the cameras.
Police said the devices aim to improve community safety and well-being, increase transparency and accountability, and improve evidence collection and documentation.
Fredericton police chief Martin Gaudet said increasing public trust and confidence in police has become a priority.
“The presence of a body-worn camera can be a powerful tool when officers are seeking to de-escalate critical situations and this equipment is a dependable way to resolve public complaints by providing an extra layer of accountability,” he said.
“Body-worn cameras also provide accountability by offering insight into officer conduct and performance. Most importantly, body-worn cameras are a demonstrated way of enhancing public and officer safety.”
Police said the 48 new body cameras represent an investment of $129,000 by the City of Fredericton.
“Body-worn cameras were identified as a priority in our 2023-2025 Strategic Action Plan, as part of our plan to continue to modernize and optimize our assets to protect our residents and meet the current and future safety needs of our city,” said Gaudet.