Cameras and equipment adopted by the police in Kuujjuaq

Caméras corporelles adoptées par les policiers de Kuujjuaq

Back in the headlines after the murder of George Floyd in the United States, the port of camera equipment by police officers is already implemented in the Nord-du-Québec, where patrol officers would more.

Agent Paul Nezan (right) wears a camera body for close to two months. He is of the opinion that it greatly improves the safety of all.

“There’s not a policeman here who is not glad to have it on him “, starts immediately captain Maxime Mercier, who works for the police Kativik for the past six years.

The first cameras were distributed to the patrollers of Kuujjuaq, the largest village of their territory, in January. Soon, the agents that work in the 13 other northern villages will also be equipped with cameras and equipment.

Historically, the relationship between aboriginal people and police in the Great North has always been tense and difficult.

The arrival of these cameras is welcomed by both the patrol officers that carry it as by the inhabitants, according to captain Mercier, because they can immediately ease tensions.

“This is really something that is good for both sides,” he says. As it can assist a police officer in an eventual case in court, conduct and / or the Office of the independent surveys, for example, as it puts the inhabitant confidence of knowing that the intervention of the police will be filmed and potentially seen by his superiors. “

The device attached to the jacket to be bullet-resistant patrol must be manually activated by the police officer.

Two sides of the medal

For example, a video was recently published on Facebook to denounce the alleged arrest muscled. It was filmed partially by the suspect.

On the images, one sees the individual would get kicked out of an establishment by the police. The patrolman asks him to move the camera back to his face, and then the control in order to handcuff and arrest him.

“At first glance, it’s scary and it seems to be brutal and quick, but the intervention lasted 30 minutes and the following pictures show the last minute. Fortunately, the entire scene has been filmed by the camera of the police officer and the images were handed over to the prosecutor. “

As the pilot project is still new, it is still too early to draw a conclusion of the effectiveness of these videos on the cases before the tribunal.

Illustration of the violence

A patrol vessel of experience that carries a camera for nearly two months, is of the opinion that it will be particularly useful in cases of spousal violence.

“I see it as a visual support of my testimony, tells the agent Paul Nezan. During an intervention, where a woman has just been assaulted, for example, it is sometimes difficult to find the words to explain to the judge how the victim was in shock and traumatized. It is one thing to say to the judge that the woman was covered in blood, but it is another to see it. “

If the police in Kuujjuaq have the chance to work mainly in a team, it is far from being the case in most other villages, where agents patrol alone.

“I see it a bit like a silent partner, but it is so important,” added the police officer of 33 years.

Elsewhere in Quebec

  • The Sûreté du Québec has bought more than 150 cameras and their location should be imminent.
  • In Montreal, after a pilot project a year and a half, the SPVM has submitted a report to the City in January 2019. No decision has been taken since. At the beginning of the month, the boroughs have claimed the wearing of cameras by police officers ; the mayor Valérie Plant is said to be open to the initiative.
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