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

A tent housing a mobile vaccination clinic. (Interior Health/Contributed)
Over 5K jabbed at Interior Health mobile COVID-19 vaccine clinics

The clinics have made stops in more than 40 communities since launching last week

Kimberley residents were treated to the first Farmers' Market of the season, and the feeling of a return to normalcy. Paul Rodgers photos.
WATCH: Kimberley’s first Farmers’ Market of the season

Kimberley residents enjoyed the first Farmers’ Market of the year on Thursday,… Continue reading

Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry talks about B.C.’s plan to restart the province during a press conference at Legislature in Victoria, Tuesday, May 25, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
Interior Health COVID-19 cases falling slower than the rest of B.C.

More than a third of provincial cases announced Thursday came from the Interior

Students at Creston Valley Secondary School put together an art installation of a replica residential school room. (Photo by Kelsey Yates)
Creston students create art installation of residential school room

The replica was decorated with a small bed, school uniform, and notes written with pleas for help

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

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

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good
Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

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

The remains of the Mid-Island Co-op in Whiskey Creek along the Alberni Highway on Friday, June 18, after a blaze the day before devastated the gas station. (Michael Briones photo)
VIDEO: Camper van explosion burns Vancouver Island gas station to the ground

Nine fire departments responded to the incident, no injuries reported

The Montreal Police logo is seen in Montreal on Wednesday, July 8, 2020. Some Quebec politicians are calling for an investigation after a video was released that appears to show a Montreal police officer with his leg on a young Black man’s neck during an arrest. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Paul Chiasson
Probe called for after video appearing to show Montreal officer’s knee on Black youth’s neck

Politicians call for investigation after clip evokes memories of George Floyd incident

Most Read