Guelph Police officers might soon be wearing body-cameras and participating in a more thorough de-escalation training.
A letter from Guelph Police Chief Gordon Cobey on Tuesday laid out the steps Guelph Police would be taking in the future to improve their service.
Cobey acknowledged that the killing of George Floyd has caused a decline in the public trust in the institution of policing.
“The death of George Floyd has shaken the trust of many,” Cobey said in his letter. “[This] has understandably caused some in our community to question what we are doing locally to ensure we are providing kind, compassionate and bias-free policing service for our community.”
Cobey said that following community input and consultation, Guelph Police are involved in ongoing training to help the officers do their jobs better.
“Training is provided in relation to mental health awareness and de-escalation strategies and victim impact awareness,” he said. “Much of this learning is delivered in consultation and in collaboration with those with lived experience from our Guelph community.”
With the international conversation shifting to non-violent policing tactics, and a higher standard of accountability in local police, Cobey said Guelph Police have been on the way to implementing body cameras for sometime.
“We have received a number of questions in relation to our willingness to consider the use of body worn cameras for our members,” he said.
“We are very willing to examine the use of body worn cameras and we have been developing a pilot project that will see the implementation of body worn cameras by some of our members in the coming months,” he wrote, adding that “This project was approved as part of our 2020 Budget and we have been working diligently towards its implementation for several months.”