Police body cameras coming to Montreal

Following on the heels of cities like New York and Toronto, Montreal's new police chief Philippe Pichet says he wants to equip officers with body cameras within the next few months.

Montreal Police Chief Philippe Pichet to introduce pilot project in coming months

The New York police department is one of several in the U.S., Canada and the U.K. experimenting with body-mounted cameras. (Shannon Stapleton/Reuters)

Montreal police chief Philippe Pichet says he wants to equip some officers with body cameras in the near future.

"There's a pilot project that's going to take place in the next few months," Pichet told CBC News.

"We have to decide which unit is going wear the cameras, how many cameras we'll try."

Pichet, who took over the top post in August, said a committee has been set up to work out the details of the pilot project. 

Montreal has been exploring the possibility for years. 

Yves Francoeur, president of the Montreal Police Brotherhood, has already come out in favour of the idea, saying body cameras would provide a better picture of what happened in a confrontation.

"What you're going to see on YouTube is from the moment of the arrest, but we never have what happened before," Francoeur said earlier this year.

He said aggressive behaviour toward officers dropped once people knew they were being filmed.

Mayor Denis Coderre has also endorsed the idea.

Several police forces in Canada, the United States and Europe have already introduced body cameras or implemented pilot projects.

In a report earlier this year, Canada's privacy commissioner flagged a host of privacy issues that have arisen as more and more police forces consider attaching video cameras to their officers' uniforms.

There is some evidence that use of body-worn cameras by police reduces both complaints against police and the use of force by front-line officers.