Skip to content

Delta Police officers exposed to suspect's blood during fight

The Delta Police Department says the incident underscores the value of the body-worn camera initiative.
The utilization of body cameras fosters transparency, nurturing trust between the police and the community, according to the DPD. Delta Police submitted

Delta Police say a recent incident where a suspect got into a physical confrontation with officers underscores the importance of the body-worn camera program.

Police said in a news release Wednesday (Jan. 31) that in response to a domestic assault reported on Jan. 28, at approximately 1 p.m., officers located and engaged with an intoxicated suspect who had left the scene.

Upon being advised that he was under arrest, the suspect initiated a physical fight with the officers.

During the assault, two officers were exposed to the suspect’s blood, resulting in one officer requiring ongoing treatment for blood contamination.

The suspect has been charged with one count of assault related to the initial complaint, one count of assaulting a police officer, and one count of resisting or willfully obstructing a police officer.

The individual has been released from custody by the courts.

“This incident underscores the invaluable contribution of the DPD’s Body Worn Camera (BWC) program. Video footage retrieved from an officer’s BWC impeccably documented the altercation, including the assault on two officers perpetrated by the suspect. Although the camera footage will not be publicly disclosed, it forms a pivotal piece of evidence for this case,” said A/Insp. James Sandberg in a news release.

The DPD said among the key advantages of the program is enhanced accountability by furnishing an impartial record of interactions between law enforcement officers and the public.

Chief Neil Dubord told the Delta Police Board during its last meeting in December that a 2024 survey found 92 per cent approval for the program.

A report to the police board notes that, currently, the DPD is equipped with 20 body-worn cameras acquired at a cost of roughly $15,000.

While the complete expenditure for the equipment and related gear amounted to $24,000, approximately $9,000 was subsidized through the Police Training and Equipment Grant provided by the provincial Civil Forfeiture Office.

The report also notes that, overall, the survey feedback shows that the program aligns well with DPD’s community-first policing approach.

The department in 2022 became the first in B.C to deploy the cameras operationally, starting with the Interdiction Team. It later expanded to the Traffic Section and then with frontline patrol.

During an update hosted by B.C. Association of Chiefs of Police in Surrey earlier this month, it was noted the association is working on a coordinated approach to adding the cameras.

Vancouver Police recently announced a pilot program in which 85 officers in the traffic section along with those who work in the downtown core and in East Vancouver will begin patrolling with chest-mounted cameras. The plan is to expand the program to all front-line offers.