Saint John — After several delays, the Saint John Police Force has announced that they will finally be able to use video monitoring for their officers starting this July.
Rather than using traditional body cameras, the city said that it will be employing Hemmings House for their video services, just like they do for everything else.
“Sure, it’ll be a little more pricey this way,” said Insp. Laura Seadle. “But I don’t know all that…like, techie video stuff. So we think it’s best to leave it to the professionals.”
Seadle explained that rather than affixing cameras to the officers, a team from Hemmings House will follow them around, recording as much as possible. Kind of like the show COPS, but with less propaganda.
The Manatee was able to follow 31-year-old officer Caleb Teed on one of the program’s pilot patrols as he was being recorded by a large team from the studio.
The group followed Teed as he pulled over a 2006 Honda Accord going 140km/h on the highway. He walked over to the vehicle, asked the confused-looking driver for his license and registration, then glanced at the camera.
“How’s this look?” he asked, self-consciously.
“Not bad…Maybe take off the shades, though,” said the young filmmaker. “Oh, and, uh…your fly is down.”
The officer’s face flushed, as he pulled up his zipper.
“What’s going on?” the driver demanded, but his question was ignored.
How do the officers themselves feel about their unique monitoring situation?
“It’s not bad, eh? Makes me feel like a movie star, or something,” said Teed. “Plus, it’s written in the Hemmings contract that they’re allowed to take regular breaks. So, if we need to plant drugs or shoot a minority or something, we just have to make sure we time it right.”
There was a long, silent pause.
“I’m just kidding,” he added flatly, after a time.