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Thread: Gun Cameras

  1. #1
    Newbie cato's Avatar
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    Oct 2006
    California, USA

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    Hmmmm...I suspect there will be fewer "suspect reached for the waist ban" claims...

    Police Test Out Cameras Mounted on Handguns
    Fort Worth Star-Telegram (Texas)

    Mar. 7--First there were the cameras on the dashboards of patrol cars. Then came cameras on Tasers. And now, cameras mounted on handguns could be the next tool for local police.

    Within 30 days as part of a testing program, officers at three New York law enforcement agencies will be equipped with handguns that have miniature cameras called PistolCams mounted on them to record the actions of officers as soon as they draw their weapons.

    The pager-size camera, which weighs less than six ounces, will capture up to an hour of video. After the video is about to reach its capacity, the camera will take still photographs.

    The video and photographs will be used to show what the officers are facing when they have to draw their weapons, officials said.

    "Frequently, officers are falsely accused in shootings," said Terry Gordon, the creator of PistolCam. The camera "will be a friend of the officer by showing what they face."

    Within the last few years, cameras on patrol cars' dashboards have become standard.

    Some officers have even tested cameras in badges.

    And there are cameras being developed to be used on an officer's lapel or belt.

    But PistolCam is one of the new and few cameras being tested on an officer's handgun.

    "I've never heard of it," said Frank Woodall, the director of curriculum at the Texas Commission on Law Enforcement Officer Standards and Education in Austin. "This is the first I've heard of such a camera. I'd need to find out more about it before I could comment about it."

    Richland Hills Police Chief Barbara Childress said officers will probably view using the camera with skepticism.

    "You have to do the research, how it benefits the officer, what will be the costs and safety issues," Childress said.

    Gordon, a former corrections officer, said PistolCam was developed to help defend officers, not indict them.

    The video is encrypted, so it cannot be altered or erased, Gordon said.

    The camera, which costs about $695, comes with a special holster, which is equipped with a magnetic strip that automatically activates the camera when the officer draws a weapon.

    For SWAT officers, the company also makes a version for rifles.

    The Newburgh Police Department, New York State Police and officers with the Orange County Sheriff's County SWAT team in New York will be testing the handguns with mounted cameras.

    Gordon said his company will be marketing the camera in Texas within a month.

    "Officers were apprehensive when they put cameras on the dashboards of their cars, but they have since come around," Gordon said.

    "That's what we hope happens with the PistolCam."

    [The camera] will be a friend of the officer by showing what they face.

  2. #2
    Campaign Veteran deepdiver's Avatar
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    Apr 2007
    Southeast, Missouri, USA

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    Since it doesn't start taping until the pistol is drawn I could see LEOs concern that context of the situation may not be captured. I just don't think we have an epidemic of officers on the street shooting innocent people. Actually I think most LEOs are too constricted by rules and a lot of scumbags are emboldened by it. Meh, I know a lot of people will disagree with that, but as always it is just IMO.
    Bob Owens @ Bearing Arms (paraphrased): "These people aren't against violence; they're very much in favor of violence. They're against armed resistance."

  3. #3
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    Catasauqua, Pennsylvania, USA

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    deepdiver wrote:
    Since it doesn't start taping until the pistol is drawn I could see LEOs concern that context of the situation may not be captured. I just don't think we have an epidemic of officers on the street shooting innocent people.

    Thanks for bringing that up.

    Actually, when I read the story at first, it seemed like a good idea. You make a good point that it removes the context of the situation, one that I hadn't thought about before.

    It's also a good point in questioning the usefulness of the footage. I tend to think that if LEOs are planning to shoot someone illegally, they're probably not going to use their issued pistol anyway... too easy to trace. And if they think that a certain situation is a "good shoot", they're going to make the shot anyway, knowing that the camera will prove them right, even if it doesn't. This might help answer some questions for the handful of mistaken shootings that are blown out of proportion by the media, but does nothing to address the underlying issues of training (or lack thereof) and/or corruption.

  4. #4
    Regular Member Fallschirmjäger's Avatar
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    Sep 2007
    Georgia, USA

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    Good thing officers can draw and point a weapon at a suspected threat without being accused of brandishing. Such camera's would be useless for the rest of us citizens, of course.

  5. #5
    Regular Member TechnoWeenie's Avatar
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    It'll be used in the prosecution of criminals, or to justify a shooting, but if it's EVER found to catch an illegitimate shooting, I have a feeling that the camera will have 'malfunctioned' during the incident.

    Just like PG county's NINE camera's on NINE different patrol vehicles just so happened to 'malfunction' when they pulled over a reporter and demanded she get out, at gunpoint...

    Good thing the cameraman had HIS running...
    Evangelical lessons are provided upon request. Anyone wishing to meet Jesus can just kick in my door.

  6. #6
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    Chugiak, AK, ,

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    Reminds me of The Bourne Ultimatum They had pistol cams in that vid

  7. #7
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    Centreville, Virginia, USA

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    I'd vote for the badge camera (continuously running) and the pistol cam, that way you do catch the context of what's going on from the approach in the car, badge came is magnetically activated when LEO leaves said car, and Pistol cam is activated when it leaves the holster. You get the entire enchilada.

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