Sunday, March 29, 2015

Town of Pincher Creek surveillance camera policy revamped

Toni Lucas

During the regular meeting of Pincher Creek Town  Council on Monday, March 23 council reviewed and approved changes to the Surveillance Camera Policy.  The largest changes are how long the information is to be stored, moving from a 90 day storage to a 30 day storage, and who can see the footage, and under what circumstances.

The policy was written in 2002, and was up for a regular review. The Town of Pincher Creek has surveillance  cameras  placed at various  locations throughout the community.  There are guidelines in place for the viewing  of footage.  Camera footage  is not to be viewed  unless there is suspicion  of a crime or incident,  or a crime or incident  is believed  to have been committed.  "It isn't always a crime that's been committed, it could be a safety incident, or another obscure incident that we want to check the surveillance cameras for," said CAO Laurie Wilgosh.

Even then, the footage is only be viewed  by the CAO and the Bylaw Officer/Community Peace Officer. The CAO may, at her discretion, include the directors and/or authorized  employees  to view the footage as required.  A copy of the footage is to be turned  over to the local RCMP Detachment upon request.  Councillor Wayne Elliott asked if the footage could be used by private citizens for insurance purposes, giving an example of of a vehicular accident at an area that would be monitored by an existing cameras.  "Possibly," said Wilgosh.  The motion to approve the changes to the policy passed unanimously.

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