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St. Paul RCMP now piloting body cameras on officers

For more than a month, RCMP officers with the St. Paul Detachment members have been wearing body cameras. 
RCMP in St. Paul have been wearing body-worn cameras for over a month now.

For more than a month, RCMP officers with the St. Paul Detachment have been taking part in a new initiative that has seen members wearing body cameras. 

Dating back to Feb. 8, the public may have noticed officers in St. Paul wearing the equipment, which is part of a field test currently taking place.

According to information from RCMP, the St. Paul RCMP Detachment was selected as one of three test sites in Alberta, which also includes Grande Prairie and Parkland detachments. The test sites will field test the body cameras “in various situations and environmental conditions,” collecting data to help RCMP decide which provider to go with as the program expands.  

RCMP in St. Paul are wanting the public to be made aware of the body cameras being used locally. 

“If you’ve had an interaction with a member of the St. Paul RCMP in the last month, you have likely been recorded by a body camera,” says Sgt. Bobby Burgess Operations NCO for St. Paul Detachment.  

Speaking to the benefits involved in wearing body cameras, Burgess says, “Members have welcomed the addition of body cameras to our everyday policing. The more tools you have to tell a story the better, and it provides clarification to the diverse perceptions following an incident and ensures everyone involved in policing interactions can be held accountable for their actions and responses, this includes our members and the general public.”  

So far, the feedback that has been received on the pilot project in St. Paul has been “positive,” says Burgess. Officers have welcomed the addition of the technology and are hopeful the recording can be useful in courts, and to help others understand “the issues police face.” 

Speaking about feedback from the public, Burgess says he has heard that people hope the cameras “will hold our members more accountable,” which is a notion he would like to clarify.  

“I strongly believe our members are already held accountable. I also believe the implementation of body cameras can paint a clearer picture of what truly happens when events unfold, and our members are questioned about their response,” says Burgess. "I want to ensure the public knows the RCMP members wearing these cameras strongly support the use of this tool and welcome the oversight it provides,” he added.  

Burgess believes the cameras will help provide evidence of offences, clarify conversations and interactions that take place between the public and RCMC members, and “hold everyone involved accountable.” 

He adds, “I personally believe the use of body cameras in the RCMP is long overdue and my hope is every detachment across the country will soon have this tool at their disposal.” 


RCMP are introducing body-worn cameras in an ongoing effort to be “transparent and accountable” to the communities the national police organization serves, according to information from Alberta RCMP. 

“Body-worn cameras can help increase trust between police and the communities they serve because the video evidence collected will provide an independent, unbiased and objective way to capture interactions between the public and police officers,” reads a recent statement from Alberta RCMP Media Relations. 

The pilot project taking place in Grande Prairie, St. Paul and Parkland County, will run for eight to 10 weeks. The field test is also taking place in RCMP detachments in Nova Scotia and Nunavut.

“RCMP officers will usually be wearing their body-worn cameras in the middle of their chest, and the public will know it's recording when a red light is visible on the camera,” states information from Alberta RCMP. 

This is the final stage of the procurement process and information gathered will be used when rolling out the program across the province and beyond. 

Following the field tests, a national roll out will take place over the next 12 to 18 months.  

“Once complete, body-worn cameras and a digital evidence management system will become the national standard for general duty frontline RCMP officers,” according to Alberta RCMP. 

Janice Huser

About the Author: Janice Huser

Janice Huser has been with the St. Paul Journal since 2006. She is a graduate of the SAIT print media journalism program, is originally from St. Paul and has a passion for photography.
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