Greenwood police invest in new Tasers to ensure video during critical moments
GREENWOOD, Ind. – Greenwood police officers are getting new smart Tasers that will work with their body cameras to ensure they’re turned on and recording during critical moments.
Officers will carry those new Tasers from Taser International by 2017. As soon as an officer removes the safety on the device, it will signal the body camera to begin recording. It will also automatically activate the camera of any other officer within a 30 yard radius.
“The officer no longer has to worry about manually activating his camera. It automatically does that. And it will automatically activate any camera in that radius,” said Assistant Chief Matt Fillenwarth.
Fillenwarth saw the technology at a national conference for police chiefs last year. There, he also saw concepts for other new police technology; Sensors on police cruisers that would alert officers inside to someone approaching their vehicles and drones that would live stream video from up above.
“I could literally just go on my laptop and start pulling up their individual camera systems,” said Fillenwarth.
There’s even an idea for smart handcuffs and police gun belts that would work like fitness trackers, monitoring the suspect’s and officer’s vital signs.
There’s no doubt technology like this will cost hundreds of thousands of dollars, but Fillenwarth says in times like these, it’s an investment worth talking about.
For Greenwood police, the new Tasers will cost around $350,000. They are using federal forfeiture money from a big drug bust years ago to pay for the advancement.