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San Jose Police Mount Cameras on Officer's Heads to Record Exchanges

San Jose Police Mount Cameras on Officer's Heads to Record Exchanges

TASER International

The AP via YellowBrix

December 29, 2009

SAN JOSE, Calif. — Grainy cell phone images are often used against cops accused of using excessive violence. Now, officers are being armed with their own cameras.

The so-called head cameras are the latest technology to come from TASER International, Inc., makers of the stun guns popular with law enforcement.

“It’s like the helmet cam you’ve seen on X Games,” said San Jose police officer William Pender, who demonstrated the camera on a recent afternoon.

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Eighteen of San Jose’s more than 1,300 sworn officers have been trained to use the AXON head cameras as part of a free trial. Other departments are expected to be added to the program.

Experts say the head cameras could help catch officers behaving badly and clear those who are falsely accused so long as they are accompanied by police department policies requiring they be switched on during each encounter and not as an officer chooses.

“I think it will also make the officers very aware that their behavior is being documented, which could cut down on possible police excesses,” said Sam Walker, professor emeritus of criminal justice at the University of Nebraska, Omaha.

The device resembles a Bluetooth earpiece and is attached by a band that runs around the back of the officer’s head.

It can be connected to an on-and-off button on the officer’s chest, and from there to a video screen on a holster. In San Jose, officers are required to switch on the cameras for even routine investigations, such as vehicle stops.

At the end of an officer’s shift, the device is placed in a docking station, where it recharges and its content is downloaded and stored on a secure server offsite. A three-year contract for the system for one officer that includes software and video storage costs $5,700, said Tom Smith, chairman and founder of TASER.

“People have been using (this technology) against us for years, unfortunately only for the bad stuff,” Pender said. “So it’d be nice to show our view and our side of what’s going on.”


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  • Wolfspirit_max50

    AKangel

    about 4 years ago

    4950 Comments

    OH MY! I DON'T THINK IT'S THERE TO HELP OUT THE PD!

  • Img_0295_max50

    sbudno

    about 4 years ago

    202 Comments

    great idea but hardware needs major refinements before it can be deployed, the commercial sector needs to focus on officer needs, and adding equipment to a belt already strapped for real-estate is not the way to go.

  • Captured_2004-1-1_00028_max50

    LAC155

    about 4 years ago

    80 Comments

    I like the idea... just a few problems with it.
    Too bad it has come to this...

  • Car6_max50

    Ahi

    over 4 years ago

    1990 Comments

    I think it has it's ups and downs about it, guess we will see how it works out.

  • Lol_sun_in_clouds_02_max50

    Djfludd

    over 4 years ago

    230 Comments

    So when you get a suspect/perp that decides he/she/it wants Sunday morning Church service( the laying of hands), and at some point during your Sermon on resisting and compliance, the stratigectly place on /off button on your chest is hit, do you have to ask the congregation to pause so you can check your other holster for the video camera and make sure you're still recording?

  • Brian_max50

    Doctorlako

    over 4 years ago

    980 Comments

    I have an idea, lets just take the whole town out in school buses to follow us around all day or night. This way, us bad guys won't 'get caught'..Are you kidding me! What a F!@#$%^ joke!
    Enough is enough! Let us do our job, it's hell enough out there!

  • Photo_user_blank_big

    Anonymous

    over 4 years ago

    I always thought cops had enough crap they had to tote around on their duty belt, and general uniform, more added on seems like it could turn into a nuisance.

  • Mourning_max50

    comasterchief

    over 4 years ago

    522 Comments

    um..yeah, that might not work

  • Snoopy_6_max50

    Jonas

    over 4 years ago

    41144 Comments

    Retleo you should not have said that. You never who might like the idea. LOL!

  • Police_link_badge_max50

    HEYSARGE

    over 4 years ago

    16734 Comments

    Don't look down while in the rest room.........................

  • Th_detective_max50

    Retleo

    over 4 years ago

    5524 Comments

    How about surgically implanting thses mini-cameras into the foreheads of criminals instead of the LEOs? This idea will have a very short shelf life, it is too cumbersome and too stupid for further comment!

  • Ribbon_max50

    mkiprotection

    over 4 years ago

    2384 Comments

    That thing would break the second an officer left the station and caught it in the car door........................

  • Badge__hat_max50

    Baxter2

    over 4 years ago

    1846 Comments

    No way.

  • Plmb2s3sk_max600_max50

    s3sk

    over 4 years ago

    3308 Comments

    I would like my own personal camera crew.

  • Blacks2_max50

    mwh5136

    over 4 years ago

    36 Comments

    Liability & Lawyers going hand-in-hand once again. God Love San Jose PD. They are always, always on the cutting edge of law enforcement. You know it's not the fault of their officers that they've got to test this technology for the rest of us. They are a truly good department. It's just so incredibly sad that the perception of cops has fallen so low that we now have to have video of what we do to show we're doing the right things, the right way. Very sad.

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