Toronto police could begin wearing body cameras as early as this summer
TORONTO -- Mayor John Tory says some Toronto police officers could begin wearing body cameras as early as this summer.
Speaking to CP24 on Monday morning, the mayor said the implementation of body-worn cameras will likely be discussed at next month's Toronto Police Services Board meeting and pending approval, at least some officers could begin wearing cameras later this summer.
"I think there is a real ambition on the part of the chief and the police services board, subject to this discussion in July, to get them on to lapels as it were in late summer," Tory said, adding that it will all hinge on how quickly the cameras can be purchased.
Tory has previously said that the Toronto Police Service likely would not begin using body cameras until the fall.
"We've been going through the acquisition or the purpose process," he said. "It may not be that it will happen... all at once."
The mayor's comments come after multiple peaceful demonstrations around the city over the weekend where protesters called for an end to anti-Black racism.
Demonstrations have been held around the world following the death of George Floyd, who was killed in Minneapolis last week after a police officer placed his knee against Floyd's neck for eight minutes and 46 seconds, an incident that was caught on video.
Toronto Police Chief Mark Saunders and other officers were seen taking a knee in solidarity with protesters during the weekend rallies.
The mayor said Sunday that the protests have motivated the city to "work harder" to eliminate systemic racism in Toronto.
“We are going to set the standard in Toronto for making sure that racism becomes a thing of the past and that's a big challenge. But I think it is one we can take on and I think our values suggest we need to take it on even more aggressively and energetically than we have," Tory said.
Saunders is expected to hold a news conference at 2:30 p.m. at Toronto Police Headquarters. The topics he will be addressing are not yet known.
CTVNewsToronto.ca will carry the news conference live as soon as it begins.