TORONTO – The Toronto Police recently unveiled their new body cameras which will record every interaction officers have with the public unless the officer involved is in the middle of planning a big surprise for somebody. The recording devices are expected to improve public trust in the police as long as there are no significant birthdays, retirements or anniversaries coming up.
The cameras came about when, as a response to numerous protests calling for the city to defund the police, Mayor John Tory instead surprised the Toronto Police with $34 million in additional funding to pay for body cameras. “It was a beautiful surprise,” stated Mayor Tory. “A perfect example of the kind of joyful moment that we wouldn’t want these cameras to ruin by taping the wrong thing.”
“These cameras are a valuable tool that allow us to verify that rights are being respected in all police encounters,” stated Toronto Police Deputy Chief Shawna Coxon. “However it is equally important that we respect the privacy of anybody who wishes to give a loved one an unexpected celebration and doesn’t want that surprise spoiled by leaked body cam footage.”
“Given the time and effort it takes to plan a surprise party, it simply becomes too great a risk to the integrity of the event to have any evidence of it on tape,” explained Coxon. “And given the widespread prevalence of surprise party planning in the law enforcement community, it’s likely most of our officers will find themselves involved in discreetly planning some kind of surprise party every single day.”
If an officer is caught turning off their body camera for reasons other than discussing a major party for someone special who doesn’t suspect a thing, they will no longer be allowed to use their department’s helium tank to inflate balloons at their next big bash. Repeat offences will result in suspension with pay and snacks.
The Toronto Police Services Board is also currently considering a motion to allow officers to turn off their body cams if they don’t like the way that recordings make their voice sound all weird.