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Toronto Police Recording Public Encounters

In the era of the cellphone camera when seemingly private encounters can be broadcast on YouTube in minutes, Toronto police are arming themselves for battle.

According to a National Post report, front-line officers will be recording interactions with the public to gather evidence, protect them against allegations of misconduct and for safety.

Cameras mounted in police cruisers and wireless microphones attached to uniforms will activate when officers turn on their emergency lights or when they decide something is worth recording.

Footage can be used in court as long as a suspect’s Charter rights weren’t violated.

But some worry the act of recording, whether someone is informed or not, infringes on the public’s civil liberties.

Police have been testing the equipment since 2006. The systems are now in place in cruisers and for front-line officers in 14, 51, 52 and 55 Divisions.