“One procedure that failed in Ferguson was Officer Wilson’s attempt to call for backup. His radio was switched to the wrong channel,” sanfrancisco.cbslocal.com reveals. “But a remarkable technology in California sets help in motion the moment a gun is drawn. Deputy James Wright is a top marksman for the Santa Cruz County Sheriff’s Department. He is also one of a dozen deputies now carrying a .9mm pistol, specially equipped with a small tracking module designed to alert headquarters whenever he unholsters or fires the weapon.” Ah yes the smart gun, coming soon to a New Jersey near you. And then nothing else, dumb gun-wise. Meanwhile, in the Golden State things are turning yellow and red . . .
Santa Cruz is one of two departments in the United States now testing the technology. The system is simple. Using the chip in the gun and the officer’s smart phone, it sends a “yellow” alert when an officer draws his gun. And a “red” alert when the weapon is fired . . .
Santa Cruz Sheriff Phil Wowak says the system may save lives. And it will provide a clear record of what happened in any officer-involved shooting.
“This product will give us the ability to know the exact time the officer drew his weapon, the time between the drawing of the weapon and the firing of the weapon, and then the exact time between each individual shot,” said Wowak.
He says this is not about tracking the actions of his officers, or keeping a database on how often one pulls a weapon.
“It really is about knowing when a person is engaged in a hostile confrontation and getting them the assistance they need to make that situation safe.”
Wowak said the gun tracking information will be used to adjust and improve deputies’ training. The police union seems to be on board and the early field results show the system works.
I’m so reassured that police accountability has nothing to do with this. Just as I’m hopeful that the police union won’t stand in the way of the public release of ballistic information after an officer-involved shooting. While we await the results of the trial I sure hope Santa Cruz cops don’t misplace their .9mm smart guns. So easy to do . . . [h/t Pascal]