San Francisco and LAPD Purchase Taser Axon Body Cameras
The following is a release from Taser:
Taser International Tuesday announced the purchase of 160 Axon body-worn video cameras and a multi-year subscription to Evidence.com by the San Francisco Police Department. This order was received in the fourth quarter of 2014 and is expected to ship in the fourth quarter of 2014.
The San Francisco Police Department tested several cameras as part of a pilot program to help increase transparency and efficiency with managing their digital evidence. Taser’s Axon cameras and Evidence.com technology was selected as the best solution to further the department’s goal of ensuring public trust as well as managing their digital evidence in the most secure and cost-effective manner.
The Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) has also selected the Taser Axon body camera for its officers. Taser’s model was selected over another model from Coban Technologies Inc., according to multiple reports.
The Los Angeles Times reported:
Officers spent 90 days testing camera equipment from both companies, while department officials gathered input from the inspector general, the American Civil Liberties Union and other law enforcement agencies that have implemented the technology, LAPD CIO Maggie Goodrich told the commission. The LAPD also posted a public survey online, which drew about 300 responses.
Sgt. Dan Gomez said the LAPD looked at factors such as camera battery life, video storage capabilities and how well the equipment captures video. One of the key differences between the models, he said, was that the Taser device recorded better in low-light conditions.
While Taser won the testing period officers suggested some changes, like reduction on the amount of wind noise picked up on the audio recordings outside.
“It’s not an absolutely perfect solution or a silver bullet by all means. There are definitely areas of improvement,” Goodrich told the Los Angeles Times. “But certainly they were the clear winner.”
Taser’s Axon cameras are small, yet highly visible, and can be attached securely to sunglasses, a cap, a shirt collar, or a head mount. They are powered by a pocketsize battery pack, which ensures recording capability during an entire shift. When recording, the cameras capture a wide-angle, full-color view of what an officer is facing. The video automatically uploads via a docking station to Evidence.com, a cloud-based storage and management system, where it can be easily accessed for review. The video files stored online or on the Axon video camera are secure and cannot be tampered with.
Evidence.com helps police capture, manage, and share their digital evidence without the complexity or cost of installing in-house servers. It enables greater transparency through seamless integration with the industry-leading Axon body-worn video cameras. Evidence.com is the most secure, scalable, and cost-effective solution for managing all types of digital evidence. Evidence.com automates the upload process to ensure security and integrity while keeping officers in the field rather than sitting at computers.
A year-long Cambridge University study conducted at the Rialto, CA Police Department investigated whether officers’ use of video cameras could bring measurable benefits to relations between police and civilians. The results showed an 88 percent reduction in citizen complaints and a 60 percent reduction in uses of force after implementation of Taser’s Axon flex cameras. In a study by Arizona State University, the Mesa Police Department’s use of Axon cameras revealed a 48 percent reduction in citizen complaints against camera officers for misconduct during the study period, and a 75 percent decline in use of force complaints. When complaints were brought to Mesa PD, they were resolved quickly due to the accessibility of video evidence.
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