POLICE ASSOCIATION OF NOVA SCOTIA 31 PANS in the community Kentville Police Service The Kentville Police Service has fully outfitted its force with body cameras following a successful pilot project. The cameras are ready just ahead of the annual Annapolis Valley Apple Blossom Festival, which is always a time of increased activity for the force. The project was initiated by former chief Mark Mander. After the pilot was finished, the force started talking a couple of months ago about getting cameras for all members on patrol, new chief Julia Cecchetto said Thursday. Stg. Wilf Andrews said the pilot project went well, with one officer per shift having a camera. “The officers liked the idea of wearing them,” he said. “Obviously, it’s a bit of accountability on both sides.” Cecchetto said that in at least one case an accused person changed their plea to guilty after the defence lawyer viewed a recording from the camera. “That’s our hope, certainly going forward, that more of that happens,” she said. The department policy will be for officers to turn the cameras on at any time that they are arriving at a call, or when they are interacting with the members of the public. Andrews said dash cameras have been in cars for years. “They do basically the same thing outside (a home or business), but this will enable recordings inside, too.” The cameras, which can be monitored remotely and are recorded to a server, serve three purposes, Cecchetto said. “They have an investigative role, especially in in the case of a victim or witness that recants,” she said. “From an officer safety point of view, if people realize that everything they do is being recorded, then sometimes their behaviour is modified.” The cameras can also be used in Police Act investigations of complaints, to prove or disprove someone’s allegations against an officer. Cecchetto said the department receives about three complaints a year alleging police misconduct. “We don’t get many, but all police agencies get complaints,” she said. “Most turn out to be unfounded.” She said there was a complaint under the Police Act last fall that “had we had a video, would not have gone any further. It did drag on for an extended period of time until we got video from the sheriffs. Once we saw that video, it was very clear that my officers had done nothing wrong.” By Ian Fairclough As originally published, The Chronicle Herald, May 25, 2018 Kentville officers outfitted with body cameras Left to right: Cst. Burke, Cst. Sehl, TOK Mayor Sandra Snow, and By-Law Officer Cst. Glen Cunningham at Walk a Mile in Her Shoes. Walk A Mile in Her Shoes