Body cameras soon for Trinidad cops
PORT OF SPAIN –– Police officers may soon have their daily duties monitored as the service moves to launch its pilot project on officers wearing body cameras.
In a telephone interview yesterday, Acting Police Commissioner Stephen Williams said the Police Service would soon launch the project.
Recently the item showed its handiness in the United States with the activities of their officers being monitored.
“It is a feature of the future and we identified it as critical step as we go forward. We are going on an experiment with the body cameras on officers,” he said.
Williams declined to give a date when the pilot project would be introduced but, however, said it was “very soon”.
He added: “We will be launching off on an experiment on body cameras. It’s about finding ways and means of improving issues of communications and capturing events.
“We have people with cellphones capturing events and we want to know what has happened with an officer and members of the public. This is the best way, which is necessary.”
He said it was a step in the right direction to improve the organization.
“It comes by way of the Police Service realizing what is happening globally and locally and moving an organization forward and making improvements necessary to build a relationship with members of the public and this what we are doing,” he said.
In 2010, then Acting Deputy Police Commissioner Gilbert Reyes said the Police Service was not authorized to use taser guns and therefore the weapons were illegal.
Yet, that year, six Central Division officers, among them a sergeant, appeared before a Chaguanas magistrate on three counts of misbehaviour in public office charged with an alleged taser gun attack on a Tunapuna family.
He said several officers were charged with the taser gun attack. He did not want to comment further on that matter as it was still before the court.
However, he said: “The Police Service will be moving forward to provide various force options for officers while on duty. The force options we are working on are where there is non-lethal force and
“The issue of lethal force where different considerations are used, force, tools and equipment,” he said.
When questioned on the issue of the new uniforms for the service, the acting police commissioner said: “I am not speaking on that but we have been exploring the issue.”
President of the Police Service Social and Welfare Association, Inspector Anand Ramesar, said: “We support it [the body camera]. It’s about time and it is long overdue.”