Officers on the Delta Police Department’s new violence suppression team targeting the ongoing gang conflict are now wearing body-worn cameras for officer safety reasons. The move marks the first time that a front-line patrol police team in B.C. will be using body-worn cameras on a regular basis, according to the device’s manufacturer, Axom. (Delta Police Department photo)

Officers on the Delta Police Department’s new violence suppression team targeting the ongoing gang conflict are now wearing body-worn cameras for officer safety reasons. The move marks the first time that a front-line patrol police team in B.C. will be using body-worn cameras on a regular basis, according to the device’s manufacturer, Axom. (Delta Police Department photo)

Delta police anti-gang team first in B.C. to use body-worn cameras

DPD launched interdiction team May 15; have since seized drugs, cash and sword from alleged gangsters

Delta police targeting gangs and gang affiliates are now the first front-line officers in B.C. regularly using body-worn cameras.

On Friday afternoon (May 21), the Delta Police Department announced that members of its recently-launched gang interdiction team have begun to use Axon body-worn cameras as a tool to help increase officer safety.

“The team using the cameras has a mandate to intercept potential gang activity, and interact with those involved in the gang conflict,” DPD Chief Neil Dubord said in a press release. “We want to do everything we can to reduce the risk of violent behaviour by gang members.”

“We must keep our officers safe in order to keep the public safe.”

The department has been conducting a limited-use pilot project involving the body-worn cameras since January of this year, primarily using them during officer training. That pilot was scheduled to conclude at the end of this month.

On Wednesday (May 12), the Delta police board extended the pilot through to September 2021 and approved the additional use for the cameras due to the increased violence seen during the ongoing gang conflict.

“In Richmond we saw alleged gang members actually shoot at police officers following a homicide at the airport,” Delta Mayor and police board chair George Harvie said in a press release. “We wanted to make sure we were doing everything we could as a board to help safeguard both our police officers and the community. This conflict calls for swift action, so we decided to expand the pilot project.”

According to the device’s manufacturer, Axon, the board’s decision marks the first time that a front-line patrol police team in B.C. will be using body-worn cameras on a regular basis.

In the wake of a number of shootings across Metro Vancouver in recent weeks, including the fatal shooting of a corrections officer in North Delta on May 1, the Delta Police Department has taking a number of steps to try and prevent further violence in the community, using a three-pronged strategy focused on interdiction, investigation and prevention.

RELATED: Delta police taking action to address gang conflict (May 17, 2021)

On Saturday, May 15, Delta police launched its new team focused on intercepting any potential gang or related activity and acting as a deterrent through a high-profile presence in public spaces, such as along Scott Road and at popular restaurants.

The team also regularly checks on individuals who must abide by curfews and release conditions.

DPD officers have stepped up visits to locations where gang members are known to frequent and report making some “informative stops” over that first weekend.

In the week since, Delta police have come into contact with a number of known gang members and affiliates, and have seized a sword, drugs and cash related to drug trafficking. Those investigations are ongoing.

“Early feedback from the public and the restaurant staff and patrons indicate that this high-visibility approach is needed and welcomed,” Dubord said.

According to Friday’s press release, studies have shown body-worn cameras reduce the use of force by — and against — police by affecting the behaviour of individuals who are aware of the recording in progress.

In addition to helping reduce the risk of violence towards officers, police hope the cameras — which they note will be used in accordance with policy and provincial standards and with oversight from the department’s management team — will accomplish four key objectives: increasing public trust and confidence, increasing officer accountability and transparency, improving evidence documentation, and resolving complaints about alleged officer misconduct.

The eight cameras, which together cost the department about $8,600, were purchased under the DPD’s existing police equipment budget.

Friday’s press release notes that officers using the cameras follow restrictive guidelines on their use, therefore there is not expected to be significant amounts of video and the department will be able to manage digital storage requirements without additional funding.

Looking forward, the release also states that Police Records Information Management Environment (PRIME-BC), the records management system used by all police in B.C., recently announced it is developing infrastructure to manage digital evidence, and is currently working on a program to manage such evidence and the infrastructure required.

SEE ALSO: Hundreds gather to remember victim of North Delta shooting (May 8, 2021)

SEE ALSO: Police launch portal for submitting video, photos of North Delta shooting (May 4, 2021)



editor@northdeltareporter.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

DeltaPolice

Just Posted

Town of Comox council (from left) Alex Bissinger, Ken Grant, Nicole Minions, Mayor Russ Arnott, Stephanie McGowan, Maureen Swift and Pat McKenna. Photo by Kim Stallknecht
Byelection coming to the Town of Comox

The latest municipal election was held in October 2018

The Kus-kus-sum site had been a sawmill on the Courtenay River. File photo
Restoration of Kus-kus-sum area in Courtenay to begin June 21

Restoration at the Kus-kus-sum site will begin June 21. This will be… Continue reading

The Bayview is temporarily closed to deal with the effects of a sprinkler in one room that was tampered with. Photo by Mike Chouinard
Bayview Hotel in Courtenay closed for now due to water mess

Hotel clarifies that only one sprinkler was tampered with and activated

A rendering shows a “mini urban bazaar” for very small businesses hub proposed in Cumberland. File image, Cumberland staff report
Urban bazaar proposal in Cumberland takes next step

Council approved permit applications but have some concerns about parking

Craft Brewing and Malting program student Ellie Hadley plans to use her newfound skills and knowledge to set up a distillery in Port Alberni. (PHOTO COURTESY LEE SIMMONS)
Something’s brewing with North Island College’s newest program

Port Alberni grad Ellie Hadley hopes to turn new skills into thriving business

A small pod of Pacific white-sided dolphins pass by close to shore in Campbell River June 16, 2021. Still capture from video courtesy of Kimberly Hart
VIDEO: Dolphin sunset captured from Vancouver Island shore

Spectacular setting for view of travelling pod of Pacific white-sided dolphins

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Stanley Fischer, right, died while in a Victoria police jail cell hours after he was arrested on Nov. 15, 1981. (Photo courtesy of Mark Fischer)
Victoria police not reopening investigation into man’s 1981 death while in custody

Stanley Fischer’s death was ruled a suicide after he was found in his jail cell

A search is underway for a 75-year-old fisherman who went missing near Port Angeles Thursday evening. (Courtesy of U.S. Coast Guard)
Search continues for angler missing between Port Angeles and Victoria

Canadian, U.S. Coast Guard searching for 75-year-old man reported missing Thursday evening

Chief Public Health Officer Theresa Tam listens to a question during a news conference, in Ottawa, Tuesday, Jan. 12, 2021. The number of confirmed COVID-19 cases attributed to the highly contagious Delta variant grew in Canada this week. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Canada’s public health agency reports spike in confirmed cases of Delta variant

More than 2,000 cases of the variant confirmed across all 10 provinces and in one territory

Bella Bella is on B.C.’s Central Coast, accessible only by air and ocean. (Tom Fletcher/Black Press)
B.C. provides $22 million for Heiltsuk development on Central Coast

Elders care home project, tourism, lumber mill supported

The federal government says it wants to ban most flavoured vaping products in a bid to reduce their appeal to youth. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP-Craig Mitchelldyer
Health Canada proposes ban on most vaping flavours it says appeal to youth

If implemented, the regulations would restrict all e-cigarette flavours except tobacco, mint and menthol

Seth Rogen’s vibrant orange sculpture was sold for $7,000 above Vancouver Art Gallery’s initial estimation at auction Tuesday. June 15. (Heffel Fine Arts)
Vase made by Seth Rogen sells for $12,000 at Vancouver auction

The B.C.-born comedian has a new pot habit and it’s paying off

BC Lions running back John White IV (3) runs with the ball during first quarter CFL football action against the Ottawa Redblacks in Ottawa on Saturday, September 21, 2019. THE CANADIAN PRESS/ Patrick Doyle
BC Lions file trademark for new logo

Canadian Football League team files for new design on June 1

Most Read