PORT OF SPAIN –– Acting Commissioner of Police Stephen Williams has confirmed officers had been equipped with body cameras even before the Police Social Welfare Association (PSWA) and Police Complaints Authority (PCA) made the recommendations.
In an interview after the funeral service of community activist and actor Hal Greaves at the First Church of the Open Bible, San Fernando, Tuesday, Williams said around 50 officers in Chaguanas have been working with the body-worn cameras. Last month PSWA president, Insp Michael Seales, and PCA director David West made the calls following the social media outrage at the police killing of Adalle Gilbert in San Fernando.
Gilbert, 37, was working on a construction site near his Carlton Lane home when he was shot dead during a chase. The recommendation for body cameras was previously made by former PCA director Gillian Lucky in 2012 and 2014.
Tuesday, Williams said: “I’ve gone beyond supporting that. Just to share with you publicly, the Police Service has already started work using body-worn video cameras.
“We have started work in Chaguanas and we are piloting the use of that with officers in Chaguanas. In 2017 we should be expanding that. We have started work so that call has been answered even before the call was made.”
He said Chaguanas was chosen for the pilot project as it fell within the Central Division which was one of the top four divisions with a high rate of violent crimes.
He said in 2016 there had been an increase of murders and shootings in the Central Division. In contrast, there has been a significant reduction in the Port-of-Spain Division, with 90 less shootings and woundings and 40 less murders than the previous year.