Cops to wear cameras while on patrol
Two and a half years after plans were announced for police personnel to wear body-worn cameras while on duty, the initiative has finally come to fruition.
"This is a significant step on the road to improving our human rights record and ultimately, public trust," Commissioner of Police Dr Carl Williams said.
"These devices will provide greater transparency, build public trust, and provide evidence against false accusations," he added.
Through funding from the US Embassy, 120 body-worn cameras will be deployed in an introductory phase to divisions in Kingston and St Andrew, namely St Andrew Central, St Andrew South, Kingston East, Kingston Central, Motorized Patrol and Traffic.
Williams said the initiative marks "the start of a new chapter in police accountability in Jamaica."
Robert Montague, the minister of national security, hailed the US Government for the support.
"This is a clear indication of the strong partnership between Jamaica and the US and our shared commitment to fighting crime and building safer societies. Building trust between the police and citizens they serve is of critical importance ... without this trust policing would be ineffective and the drive to build a safer Jamaica would be doomed to fail," Montague said.
"The use of body-worn cameras by members of the security forces has been proposed for sometime as one way of addressing this trust issue," Montague said.