Following an 18-month pilot project, the Toronto police service body camera evaluation team is recommending the outfitting of body cameras for officers, despite the steep cost.
The report made public on Thursday, is recommending the Police Service issue a non-binding request for proposals for companies to quote on a cost for cameras and information technology infrastructure.
The reports suggests outfitting frontline officers with cameras, saying that both officers and the community saw value in having the cameras and felt it would reduce inappropriate behaviour by officers and the public. The project evaluation asserts that 95 per cent of the public and 85 per cent of officers support the use of the cameras.
However, costs presented to the board estimate expenditures at about $85 million over 10 years with the highest expense being data storage.
Even then, senior officers say the devices are not flawless, pointing to serious battery problems as well as limited practicality in use-of-force incidents.
Of the people surveyed who did have an interaction with police, whether investigated or arrested by an officer with a body-worn camera, 85% supported their use.