RCMP Body-Worn Camera Costs
Whereas the Government of Canada has announced its intent to equip all front-line RCMP officers with body-work cameras, to improve transparency and accountability; and
Whereas the Government of Canada has committed funding for the initial equipment costs, but intends to transfer responsibilities and costs for the cameras to provinces and municipalities in 2024/25; and
Whereas Public Safety Canada estimates the annual cost per unit to be $2,000 to $3,000, to account for ongoing hardware replacements, archival storage and administration; and
Whereas municipalities have had no say in the vendor procurement process and have received minimal communication from either Public Safety Canada or the RCMP on the project;
Therefore be it resolved that SUMA advocate the Government of Canada to maintain responsibility for body-worn cameras and absorb all costs related to them; and
Further be it resolved that SUMA advocate the Government of Canada and the RCMP to engage in meaningful engagement and consultation with municipalities when making decisions that will directly affect them.
ACTS AFFECTED: None
REGION/SECTOR AFFECTED: All
Dear Randy Goulden:
Thank you for your correspondence of April 26, 2022, regarding Saskatchewan Urban Municipalities Association ($UMA) resolutions with respect to the costs stemming from the collective agreement between the Treasury Board of Canada and the National Police Federation (NPF) for Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) Regular Members and the RCMP Body-Worn Camera initiative. Please accept my sincerest apologies for the delayed response.
In respect of the issue you raise on the Body-Worn Camera initiative, the Government of Canada's Fall Economic Statement (November 30, 2020) announced funding to implement a national body-worn camera program for frontline RCMP officers to improve transparency and accountability and respond to concerns about policing from racialized and Indigenous communities. Under article 6.1 in the Police Service Agreements (PSAs), it states that the internal management of the Municipal Police services, including administration and the determination and application of professional police standards and procedures, will remain under the control of Canada. As a result, body-worn cameras will become a national standard for the RCMP.
This Statement also indicated that contract partners would begin paying at the contract rate starting in 2024-2025. The delay in recovering costs was to allow contract partners, including municipalities, three years to plan for this expense. Contract partners will only pay for cameras deployed starting in 2024-2025 and have been provided with an estimate for planning purposes ($3000 per member at the policing services contract rate). This estimate is based on industry standards and includes RCMP costs to administer the program. Once a contract has been awarded, these numbers will be refined.
There has been significant communication and engagement on this project. The Body-Worn Camera and Digital Evidence Management Service (BWC OEMS) initiative has been discussed at the Contract Management Committee (CMC) on several occasions and remains an important agenda item given its significance to building trust and transparency between police and the communities. CMC members were invited to participate in a BWC OEMS sub-committee chaired by the RCMP, which includes representation from Provinces and Territories, as well as associations representing municipalities. This committee meets regularly to discuss various aspects of this initiative so that partners are informed and can work collaboratively with the RCMP to advance this important initiative.
Thank you again for taking the time to write and share the recent resolutions adopted by SUMA at its 117th Annual Convention. I can assure you that my officials are analyzing this information and remain committed in working with contract jurisdictions on these complex matters. I thank SUMA for bringing forward these important issues on behalf of their members and for its ongoing participation on the Contract Management Committee.
The Honourable Marco Mendicino, P.C., M.P.