Edmonton police hope public will fund new intelligence centre that has raised privacy concerns

Edmonton police hope the public will fund an intelligence centre that some worry could lead to unfair targeting of marginalized populations.

The Operations Intelligence and Command Centre is a 24/7 technological hub that would pull information from CCTV feeds and Facebook to use in conjunction with police data, in a bid to prevent and solve crimes more efficiently.

The Edmonton Police Foundation aims to raise $1.5 million to build it.

“Our goal is to make Edmonton the safest city in North America. The OICC is the singlemost thing that will help us get there faster,” said the foundation’s chair, Ashif Mawji.

The centre could be used, for example, when a suspect in a kidnapping is caught on a surveillance camera.

Police could run the camera image through a facial recognition process and match the suspect’s face to a social media profile, regardless of whether that person is already in the police database.

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