SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. — About 10 Scottsdale police officers will be testing on-body cameras for the next several months before the department decides if it will buy more of the devices.
The cameras are made by Taser and they’re called Axon Flex. They can be worn on the officer’s collar, glasses or hat and are about the size of a lipstick tube.
The video is crystal clear and so is the audio.
Unlike dash cams, these systems are mobile and capture exactly what the officer is seeing. In fact, when the officer pushes the record button the camera captures the 30 seconds before they hit the button.
Scottsdale Police Sgt. Mark Clark called the devices the ultimate in transparency for police work.
“That’s helpful because when an officer sees something and has time to react and turn the camera on, a lot of times the stimulus is already gone,” he said.”
Clark said the camera recently helped an officer after an encounter with a citizen who made a bogus claim.
“Internal Affairs looked at the video and it was completely contrary to what the complaining citizen said.”
But the devices protect citizens as well. If they go to court, they would have access to the officer’s video.
Clark said Phoenix and Mesa police are also testing out the cameras. Lake Havasu City has outfitted all of their officers with the devices.
“Lake Havasu went into it with both feet,” he said. “And their feedback to us was helpful. It’s technology that has certainly come of age for policing.
The cameras and software cost about $1,000 each.