LAPD Purchases Tasers That Activate Body Cameras When Used
January 8th, 2015 | by Kevin James Krotz
The Los Angeles police department on Tuesday ordered Tasers that can automatically activate cameras on officers’ uniforms when used. The purchase was is a part of an effort to create visual records of incidents during a time when many are questioning the use of force by US law enforcement.
The LAPD ordered 3,000 of the new Taser X26P weapons. The weapons record the date, time and duration of firing, along with whether Taser wires actually hit suspects and how long the electricity pulses through them. Linked via bluetooth to Taser International’s body cameras, the Tasers are activated immediately as the weapon’s safety switch is thrown.
“This technology gives a much better picture of what happens in the field,” said Steve Tuttle, spokesman for the Scottsdale, Arizona-based Taser International Inc.
The LAPD plans to issue a body-worn camera and a Taser device to every officer, making it a goal for these tools to become available to “every front line officer over the next few years,” according to a statement by LAPD Chief Charlie Beck.
At a time when excessive force by police officers around the US have come under scrutiny, these Tasers will surely add some accountability and a new level of record taking to the police force.