OPP abandons dash cam project due to cost
Dario Balca, CTV Toronto
Published Tuesday, November 10, 2015 8:40PM EST
After a decade of trials, the Ontario Provincial Police has abandoned an initiative to equip its cruisers with dashboard-mounted cameras due to cost concerns, CTV News has learned.
The news comes after a 10-year-long pilot project during which the cameras were mounted in some police vehicles, capturing dramatic footage of accidents, police chases and takedowns in places such as Toronto, Ottawa and Kenora.
The OPP said some of the incidents caught on video have served as useful teaching tools for the police force, but now the project is being shelved.
When the project began in 2005, each camera cost approximately $16,000. Now, each unit costs $6,000, but the Ontario government has been reluctant to give the OPP the extra money.
Dashboard cameras are used by most major police forces around the world. The OPP’s decision to move away from dashboard cameras makes it one of the very few large police forces that don’t use the technology.
Equipping the OPP’s 1,500 cruiser with dashboard cameras would cost nearly $10 million.
To reduce that cost, the police force has opted instead to equip officers in the field with body cameras.
The OPP said it would look closely at the Toronto police’s experience with body cams before making a decision on whether to use the technology.
With a report from CTV’s Queen’s Park Bureau Chief Paul Bliss