Recently President Obama made a call for more police to wear body cameras. In response to the Presidents’ request Los Angeles Mayor, Eric Garcetti has vowed to bring approximately 8,000 cameras to the LAPD. If this was the end of the story, then it wouldn’t really make waves in the headlines. It is interesting to note however, that Eric Garcetti os apparently not content with just monitoring events as the LAPD is also purchasing 3,130 tasers, which can connect to the aforementioned body cameras.
The Taser X26P is called a “smart” taser. It was released two years ago and will automatically activate the worn camera if the safety is turned off. Both of the devices pair over Bluetooth, this will theoretically call for rolling tape each and every time the taser is fired. This use of technology could prevent both officers exceeding their duties in enforcing the law and it should act as a deterrent to would be criminals who would think twice about the consequences of their actions knowing that they would both be filmed and tasered at the same time!
The arrangement will take place over a five-year period. It will see 2,270 older tasers retrofitted for bluetooth connectivity, and 860 Taser X26Ps “as part of the roll out of 860 body cameras”. This new initiative will also give Taser license to repair or replace the tasers as they are required. Taser is also given the task to come up with a new, replacement weapon five years from now.
The goal of this new initiative seems to be a reduction in force, with the news release quoting “a 2009 study by the Police Executive Research Forum sponsored by the National Institute of Justice found that the use of TASER devices reduced the risk of police officer injuries by 70% and the risk of injury to suspects by 40%.”
The taser itself keeps logs on use and notes information such as how often it was fired and ‘if’ the darts made contact.
What do you think about this new initiative?
[Image via umo]