Getting officers to court to testify at trials for highway offences is costly and time-consuming, but unless an officer attends court, a case may be dismissed. York Region has found a solution: remote video technology that allows officers to provide real-time testimony from police districts into the courtroom.
The remote video testimony project, a collaboration between York Region Courts Services, York Regional Police and Information Technology Services, uses streaming video technology through the province’s justice video network (JVN).
The project received the P.J. Marshall Innovation Award at the annual Association of Municipalities of Ontario Conference in Ottawa August. The award recognizes innovation, tangible benefits to the community, improved efficiency, innovative financing and the ability for other municipal governments to use the project’s concept. “York Region has done the hard work with this project, making it easier for other Ontario municipalities to adopt it,” said Pat Vanini, AMO Executive Director.
“The JVN is changing its business model to accommodate requirements of municipal courts. This is a win-win-win, except perhaps for the person holding the provincial offence ticket.”
York Region is the first municipality in Ontario to introduce video testimony in court proceedings. “Home to the second largest Provincial Offense Act court program in Ontario, York Region continuously strives to find innovative ways to modernize and improve the delivery of our programs and services,” York Region Chairman and CEO Wayne Emmerson says.
“The remote testimony project is a great example of how we are providing a more cost efficient and better customer experience. We thank AMO for recognizing the innovative work happening in local municipalities and look forward to sharing our remote testimony approach with other jurisdictions.”
The City of Markham also received an award this year for innovative approaches to diverting textile waste.
Photo from a video demonstrating the use of the justice video network.