The NY Times recently published story: Wearing a Badge, and a Video Camera. It reports that the use of AXON Flex cameras can reduce complaints by 89% & use of force by nearly 60%. These findings were the result of a year long case study conducted by Chief Tony Farrar, Rialto PD, CA, in collaboration with Cambridge University Institute of Criminology.
Law enforcement pays out more than $2.5 billion dollars annually on complaints and lawsuit settlements alone. Clearly POV on-officer cameras are the video solution for accountable policing – accountable to both law enforcement agencies & the public.
Benefits of TASER AXON Flex on-officer cameras:
Officer protection – US law enforcement spends approximately $2 billion in settlements each year to resolve claims. Agencies deploying Point-of-View (POV) video report dramatic decrease in complaints.
Time-saver & increases efficiency – Officers spend more time on patrol with automated workflows that reduce administrative workload. Plug & Go: at the end of a shift an officer simply places the Flex camera & controller in a charger & walks away while it automatically uploads the videos. No need to sit & wait for uploads.
Accountability – Enhances public trust & creates safer communities at a lower cost.
Improves behavior – Both officers & citizen behavior improves knowing they’re being recorded.
Reduces false complaints & lawsuits – Video accurately records incident from the officer’s perspective.
Pre-event video buffer – The greatest reduction in complaints & lawsuits when actions leading up to the incidents are recorded.
Low light recording – This best shows what the human eye actually sees in dim lighting.
ROI – Ultimately the reduction of meritless complaints, litigation, use of force, & the saving of time all adds up to the one crucial overall benefit –providing a return on a communities investment.
Testimony is interesting. Video is compelling.
Fact: EVIDENCE.com is a total evidence management system. It manages all digital evidence including videos from Flex devices, fixed cameras, & in-car cameras. It also stores digital photographs & documents such as scanned copies of witness statements & any other type of digital reports. EVIDENCE.com also uploads & stores Trilogy logs, dataport logs, & video from our X2, X3, X26 CEWs & TASER CAM devices.
Myth: Using EVIDENCE.com adds more work to my already busy schedule.
Fact: EVIDENCE.com reduces your workload; not increase it. Case folders in EVIDENCE.com are to view, search & organize (including AXON Flex videos, documents, & other digital evidence related to a case). This streamlined evidence collection & management process allows law enforcement to spend more time protecting & serving communities. It can be stored easily using our Cloud Computing EVIDENCE.com.
Myth: My evidence won’t be admissible in court if it’s not stored on a server controlled by my agency.
Fact: Chain of custody auditing & security controls built into EVIDENCE.com help ensure that your evidence is fully admissible in court & every view, download, & edit is recorded, tracked & reportable. Our video transfer & storage meets or exceeds the International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP) recommended standards.
Myth: My evidence would be more secure it it is stored internally & not at an external third party location.
Fact: EVIDENCE.com protects your data through sophisticated physical & virtual access controls, encryption & audit trails. All data stored on EVIDENCE.com is stored redundantly & backed-up daily ensuring your data is accessible when you need it.
Myth: My videos on EVIDENCE.com can be viewed by anyone from TASER International, employees of the data storage center, or other agencies. TASER International could potentially sell these videos to the media.
Fact: All videos & other agency data on EVIDENCE.com can only be viewed by members of your agency and other internal & external users as designated by your agency. TASER Int’l & third party vendors have NO permitted access to view or edit your evidence.
Myth: Supervisors will check my videos to see that I am doing my job correctly.
Fact: Currently, your supervisor & other agency staff personnel have access to your video & data files as described in your agency policies. Most likely, access to your AXON Flex videos & other data stored on EVIDENCE.com will be similar to access to existing case files including videos from in-car cameras, interview rooms, etc.
Myth: Once I store my evidence at a third party facility, no matter how secure it is, it could be accessed by federal & other agencies.
Fact: Where your evidence is stored does not affect the legal access of the data by investigative agencies, FOIA requests, etc. The access is the same regardless of whether the data is stored on an agency server or in a third party storage facility.
Myth: Other officers or personnel at my agency can access all of my files on EVIDENCE.com.
Fact: All control permissions are set by your agency. In addition to designating users, each agency can control the level of access of their users. As an example, the agency can set parameters where only certain users are authorized to download a video so that a full chain of custody is always maintained.
While we just announced that several law enforcement agencies deployed our AXON Flex on-officer cameras & EVIDENCE.com (Laramie and Lone Tree police departments, Shenandoah County Sheriff’s Office & several others), we also announced that we opened our third software development office in the West Coast.
“AXON Flex™ on-officer cameras and EVIDENCE.com continues to see strong adoption by agencies of all sizes,” said Jason Droege, General Manager of Video and Cloud. “To support the continued growth of EVIDENCE.com, we are proud to announce the opening of our new Bellevue, WA office to expand our software development team beyond Santa Barbara & Scottsdale. With the tremendous amount of technical talent in the area, we see significant strategic value for TASER to have a Seattle-area presence. Our EVIDENCE.com story is very compelling for people who want to make a direct impact on the products they build & solve problems that make a real difference in the world,” concluded Droege.
Not to be overshadowed, we did announce several law enforcement agencies orders for Flex cameras & EVIDENCE.com
Significant new AXON Flex and EVIDENCE.com deployments:
Additional agencies deploying AXON Flex and/or EVIDENCE.com:
We look forward to being in Bellevue, WA!
Has law enforcement changed over time? Certainly. However, what’s truly remarkable is that it takes disruptive technology — a truly revolutionary breakthrough technology to do so. Take a look a what disruptive technologies have done for law enforcement, from firearms, to communications, to fingerprints in the timeline graphic below. Then take a gander at what TASER technology has done with its TASER ECDs — not just a law enforcement response to resistance tools but their built-in accountability features and camera accessories as well.
In the 1990s only special supervisors or a designated SWAT team member used TASER devices. When we rolled out our TASER ECDs in 1998 we told law enforcement we would eventually have them on the belts of ALL patrol officers. That mighty bold statement received countless collective chuckles, smiles, laughter, and even some snide remarks. For us, it continued to fuel our passion here at TASER International.
FAST-forward to 2012 and there are now over 16,000 law enforcement agencies out of 18,000 in the U.S. that now have TASER ECDs. They are used in over 107 countries.
Revolutionary? By all means. But remember, to be revolutionary there must be pain points, learning curves and paradigm shifts. It also means controversy will necessarily come up, otherwise it wouldn’t be revolutionary.
Already, former critics, which two year ago said, “No way our officers will wear these,” are now saying, “It’s coming and may be faster than you think. There is nothing you can do to stop it.” Others are saying, it’s the “wave of the future” while others are saying, they don’t want to be one of the last agencies without it.
Who knows, this might be yet another tipping point for another law enforcement technology revolution.