The City of Yellowknife has published a draft security camera policy, drawn up in response to misconduct allegations against a senior manager with access to the cameras.

Misuse of the cameras to watch female residents from afar was among accusations against municipal enforcement manager Doug Gillard published in January.

The City, which kept Gillard in post, chose to deactivate 60 of its 64 cameras until a new policy governing their use could be introduced. The cameras have been offline since January 18.

City councillors get to debate the first draft of the policy on Monday. The draft policy addresses what it calls a “delicate balance” between protecting workers and the public, and protecting residents’ privacy.

Access restricted

The policy deals with the placement and rationale for cameras, as well as the need to warn the public when their activities may be recorded.

In an apparent response to the allegations against Gillard, the policy also spells out that “security information must only be used for the purpose for which the security camera system was established” – and the cameras must “only be used to monitor the areas set out in the relevant security camera plan.”

Access to the cameras is also restricted to a small number of staff, though the manager of municipal enforcement would be among those expected to receive that access.

In a note to councillors provided alongside the policy, City administrators say the draft is “legally responsible [and] provides a clearly outlined system for the installation and use of security cameras at City facilities.”

The memo to councillors adds: “Proper video surveillance, where deemed necessary, is one of the most effective means of helping to keep City facilities and properties operating in a safe, secure, and privacy protective manner.”

No accusations against Gillard have been proven in court. Reports published last month feature allegations dating to 2014; the City’s top administrator says Gillard has since changed his behaviour.