Edmonton police will photograph licences to protect officers and the public
EDMONTON -- As concern grows over community spread of COVID-19, the Edmonton Police Service is changing the way it does business when it comes to traffic stops.
Officers will now be required to photograph licences and registrations during traffic stops to minimize handling. EPS said photos will be deleted after each interaction.
With physical distancing more important than ever as COVID-19 cases in Alberta rise, one Edmontonian says his experience in a recent police interaction was surprising.
Chris Forbes expressed concerns over a lack of physical distancing by an officer when he was pulled over last week.
“Comes to the window, with a mask, with sterile gloves, takes my licence, walks away. I don’t know who else he’s touched or been in contact with,” said Forbes.
Forbes had been pulled over and given a ticket for speeding.
He said he prefers the photograph solution when handing his documents to officers.
“Personally, I don’t mind them taking a picture of my licence. I’m sure someone is going to come to the table and moan about that.”
Officers do have other concerns about how they are supposed to be doing their job while also trying to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
“Members are seeking clarification for those one offs or if those ‘what ifs’ were to occur,” said Mike Elliot with the Edmonton Police Association.
One potential ‘what if’ would be if the city decides to issue a lockdown.
If a lockdown were to be put in place, the city said police would be expected to enforce that law like any other.
“My personal opinion is it would be only in the worst case scenario that we would actually issue a ticket to a citizen because they weren’t complying,” said Elliot.
As far as court cases for tickets, Forbes has a date to plead his case in June, though it is unclear if the courts will even be open then.
With files from CTV Edmonton’s Dan Grummett