Cincinnati police officers beginning to wear miniature cameras - Cincinnati News, FOX19-WXIX TV

Cincinnati police officers beginning to wear miniature cameras

By Dan Wells – bio | email

CINCINNATI (FOX19) – From heat-sensing cameras used to track suspects, to police car dash cameras, technology has become a staple for many law enforcement agencies.

Cincinnati Police officers are now field testing wearable clip-on video cameras.

The device is called AXON. It's described as an on-officer tactical computer and an audio-video recorder that captures incidents from the officer's perspective.

The AXON (which stands for Autonomous eXtended on-Officer Network) is a small, lightweight headset that fits into an officer's ear and aims wherever he or she looks. Besides recording up to 10.5 hours of video, it can serve as an earpiece for police radios.

"This is an additional piece of evidence that the officers can use throughout the course of his or her duties," said Clay Winn of Taser Inc.

The camera is designed to enable full audio-video recording from a head camera the size and weight of a standard Bluetooth headset and transfer it securely to a computer hard drive without interference.

"This is everything they will need throughout the course of their day, if you notice when you turn this thing on, you're are seeing what he is seeing on the point of this system and through this he can actually adjust it and make sure it's looking at the right angle of where he wants to look," said Winn.

The idea is a pilot program from Taser Inc., a company better known for its (mostly) nonlethal weapons.

"It helps me to remember an incident under stress where I might not remember what I did or what I said and it will be right there for everybody to view including myself," said a Cincinnati police officer. 

"From our perspective this is a way of enhancing the capabilities of the police department and brining forward what actually occurred here and give people the opportunity to make a good rational judgment about the incident," said Police Chief Tom Streicher.

Right now the system will be tested on Cincinnati streets this week with hopes to unveil it force wide this summer.

"I love to be able to say that we are going to be doing this by mid-year and that is what we are going to we have to try to do identify a source of funding work with them as best we can to put this thing on each and every officer on the street," said Chief Streicher.

The individual systems costs about $1500.

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