These Police Will Soon Be Required To Wear Head Mounted Cameras

Illustration for article titled These Police Will Soon Be Required To Wear Head Mounted Cameras

Sadly, stories about police discrimination and the Tasering of 10-year old girls are frighteningly commonplace these days. Officers in San Jose, CA have a particularly bad reputation, which is one reason why they are being outfitted with head-mounted cameras.


The kit includes a camera, a control piece and a computer that hangs from the belt. Every time an officer interacts with a civilian, they are required to activate the AXON camera. Afterward, the officer can switch the camera to a "buffer" mode that records limited video, or turn it off completely. At the end of a shift, the video will be downloaded to a central server.

A leading critic of the department welcomed the cameras as a tool to provide useful evidence, but dismissed their significance as a solution to rocky police-community relations.

"The AXON project is unfortunately a positive thing right now because the level of distrust is so high," said Raj Jayadev, director of the community organization Silicon Valley De-Bug. "But it doesn't address the more fundamental problem: What stereotypes police may carry when they see people of color on the street and make assumptions about character.

Since an officer can simply turn off the device at anytime, I don't think AXON will put an end to police abuse. However, keeping a record of these interactions can do nothing but help the evidence gathering process. Trials financed by Taser are currently underway, but reports estimate that a full-fledged deployment in the San Jose area would cost upwards of $4 million in taxpayer money. [Mercury News via Crunchgear]


This could be always on. Privacy is an issue, but if Google Streetview, then someone can build an app that will blur private moments.

The cops spent years demanding more surveillance on citizens. They invented specious "arguments" like, "if you have nothing to hide...". A cop never met a camera he did not like — as long as it was pointed at us, not them. But turnabout is fair play...