Kampala Capital City Authority (KCCA) has procured body cameras for their over 120 law enforcement officers to be able to monitor what happens when they are deployed maintain trade order in the city.
A surveillance system will also be put in place whereby even when an officer removes or switches off the camera they will still be known.
By Berinda Birungi
The cameras will enable enforcement officers record footage when they have interactions, such as arrests, with members of the public, according to the Authority’s executive director, Ms Dorothy Kisaka.
The equipment will also enable KCCA legal department to collect evidence during investigations or better defend their actions during a particular encounter.
Ms Kisaka said this initiative will help rebuild trust with the communities and reduce citizen complaints.
“This is something we have already acquired. They have gone through the training on how to use them.
The cameras will be helping us get information from the field in time so that when there’s an issue, we can deal with it immediately. The problem of getting the information very late we are not able to resolve that issue quickly,” Ms Kisaka said on Wednesday after engaging with the Authority’s law enforcement officers whom she cautioned to act with restraint and caution in dealing with the people.
“In the past few days there have been increased reports of public disquiet, especially downtown. There are many reports of indiscipline, theft and assaulting people that are coming in. There are some bad apples among you who are spoiling the job. We cannot allow indiscipline, assault, battering, theft to go on as we watch. This must stop,” Ms Kisaka said.
In August 2017, Oliver Basemer, a street vendor, also died in Nakivubo drainage channel as she fled KCCA law enforcement officers who were pursuing her.
Currently the team is undergoing training on the usage of this body camera technology which is part of the grand strategy of actualizing the Smart City strategy.
KCCA’s political wing headed by Kampala Lord Mayor Erias Lukwago said they are in the final stages of gazetting the law enforcement ordinance to guide the process ranging from recruitment to competence.
“The training mechanism has to be provided for in the law together with the minimum qualification because their job is about law enforcement,” Mr Lukwago said.
The punishments for officers accused of violating the law while on duty will include suspension and dismissal.
In addition to the body cameras, Ms Kisaka said KCCA is engaging enforcement officers in physical fitness exercises and mindset programmes.
“There are some people who need to be arrested by police. They left the institution but the public still associate them with KCCA. They are the ones stealing people’s things,” one of the enforcement officers said.
KCCA has a total of 128 enforcement officers who are legally entrusted with maintaining trade order in the city.