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In the aftermath of the Ferguson riots police body cams went from desirable to mission critical. Their nationwide adoption hasn’t doused the ire of knee-jerk anti-cop agitators — especially when the cameras somehow fail to record during officer-involved shootings…usually when officers forget (or “forget”) to turn them on.

TASER’s new Signal Sidearm system automates body cam activation. The device (no picture available; TASER, not a firearm shown above) is attached to the officer’s existing holster. When the cop draws his weapon, it sends nearby body and cruiser cams a wireless signal that begins recording. A critic might think that that’s way too late for evidentiary purposes, but I couldn’t possibly comment. Press release:

Gun Drawn, Camera On: New Axon Signal Sidearm Alerts Body Cams From Holster

Signal Sidearm is the first wireless holster sensor to integrate with body-worn cameras

SCOTTSDALE, AZ, February 27, 2017TASER International (NASDAQ: TASR), the global leader in connected apps and devices for law enforcement, today announced the release of Axon Signal Sidearm. This is the first wireless sensor to alert Axon body cameras when a firearm is removed from an officer’s holster. Expanding on the company’s Axon Signal technology, which also works with TASER Smart Weapons and police cruisers, it will enable officers to be even more thoroughly covered by the Axon network in the line of duty. The Signal Sidearm will be available for purchase in Q3 2017.

“When law enforcement officers must draw a weapon, the last thing they should worry about is their technology,” said TASER CEO and Co-Founder, Rick Smith. “The Signal Sidearm will give officers the same confidence in their technology that already exists in encounters involving Smart Weapons that use our Signal technology. It’s an important step in extending the reach of the Axon network to connect other devices.”

Product Details:

  • The Signal Sidearm attaches to an officer’s existing firearm holster without interfering with normal operation.
  • The device is wireless and does not risk cables and wires getting in the way of officers when on duty.
  • Once a firearm is drawn, the sensor is triggered and alerts all Axon cameras within a 30-foot range to begin recording. The signal communicates with the full line of Axon cameras including Axon Body 2, Axon Flex 2, and Axon Fleet in-car cameras.
  • The Signal Sidearm is compatible with most existing firearm holsters.
  • The coin cell battery that operates the device lasts approximately 1.5 years and automatically alerts the user via the Axon network if the battery is low.

To date, more than 100,000 licenses have been contracted on the Axon network worldwide. It seamlessly integrates devices and apps to enable powerful capabilities for building safer communities. The Axon network includes:

  • Smart Devices Body cameras and in-car video that leverage technology such as Bluetooth® wireless technology and Wi-Fi® to better track and manage data
  • Mobile Apps – Evidence management for iOS and Android devices with Axon View and Axon Capture
  • Unified and Integrated Digital Evidence Management System (DEMS) One platform that removes siloed DEMS through cloud computing, integrations across media points, and open file standards that do not require proprietary file formats or media players
  • Forensic Suite Tools – Forensic analysis via Axon Five and Axon Detect, and proprietary video format conversion via Axon Convert
  • Connected Ecosystem – From capture to courtroom, securely share and track digital evidence across public safety stakeholders
  • Digital Verification and Audit Logs Record every interaction with any piece of digital evidence including capture, ingest, retrieve, manage, and share
  • Advanced Security Industry–leading people, practices, and products that comply with CJIS at both the infrastructure and application layers and ISO/IEC 27001

Follow the TASER and Axon brand here:

About TASER International, Inc.

TASER International makes communities safer with innovative public safety technologies. Founded in 1993, TASER first transformed law enforcement with its electrical weapons. TASER continues to define smarter policing with its Axon brand which includes a growing suite of connected products and services from body cameras and digital evidence management tools to mobile apps. More than 178,000 lives and countless dollars have been saved with TASER’s products and services. Learn more at and or by calling (800) 978-2737.

TASER® is a registered trademark of TASER International, Inc., registered in the U.S. TASER logo, Axon, Axon Flex, Axon Signal, Body 2 and are trademarks of TASER International, Inc., some of which are registered in the US and in other countries. Bluetooth is a registered trademark of Bluetooth SIG, Inc. Wi-Fi is registered trademark of Wi-Fi Alliance.

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  1. If a cop needs to shoot as soon as he draws and the camera is not on by the time he draws his weapon, the justification for the use of force will have been missed. It’s only good for situations where a cop draws, but does not shoot right away.

    • When my department did a trial run with the taser body cameras last year it was my understanding that when the camera is “turned on” it starts logging events that occurred 5 seconds before the actual button was pushed. Same principle should apply here since it’s the same company

      • With the cost of storage and battery what they are, there is still little reason to not run the cameras continuous.

        Heck there’s honestly less and less reason for anyone to not run 360 cameras continuously these days, given the sheer growth rates in the harassment industries.

  2. If we can afford to train, equip and pay police, we can afford to have cameras and audio recording going from when they start work until they finish work. If they are afraid to be monitored, that means we shouldn’t have them in that position of authority, particulairy with the available firepower, nonlethal and restraint systems they are allowed, that we, as citizens, are not allowed.
    They have no right to privacy while they are on the clock. Statements made to partners, talking to themselves, etc, have meaning and all should be taken to account to make sure they are healthy and sane. Partners that keep confidences that may not be proper are also to be monitored and they should at least give the flavor of the partner’s attitude.
    23 LEOs were at the Rodney King beating. I am sure that he mouthed off to the officers, but not one of the 23 LEOs told the truth in thier reports.

    • And when they use the bathroom?

      What about when they’re at an innocent person’s door (Like asking “Have you seen this man”) and will see inside their private house?

      • Encrypt the footage and keep it safe. Require a court order to decrypt and view. IOW no different than what private citizens ought to be doing, except the encryption keys are kept by “the machine”‘ in the case of government workers on the clock. While private citizens can take the fifth.

  3. If the camera is always on and this just triggers a “Save everything from the last 15 minutes of data and everything hence forth” it would work, but turning it on after weapons are drawn? Bullshit.

  4. Seems kind of pointless. Body cameras are important because the capture the circumstances leading to the shooting, not the actual shooting.

  5. Any cop afraid of the camera is afraid of everything! That’s why he’s a bully behind his tin shield. What the government at all levels did to residence in New Orleans will not soon be forgotten or forgiven. Less mentioning their track record across this land and the decades following the great world wars. “All government need be under tight scrutiny, just like they do to you and I with every power they have stolen.

  6. This idea has been percolating for awhile and is a great way to use technology.

    “When the cop draws his weapon, it sends nearby body and cruiser cams a wireless signal that begins recording. A critic might think that that’s way too late for evidentiary purposes, but I couldn’t possibly comment. Press release:”

    Okay, for those who don’t know how most ‘cop’ cams work: most are ALWAYS recording, in a way (at least the ones I’ve encountered, this is standard). This is definitely true of dash cams! The system overwrites the footage on a loop of a minute or so. If nothing happens, that footage is eventually gone. But when you “start” recording- either by pushing record OR by automatically activating the camera (using light\sirens, etc) the footage doesn’t begin there; it just stops looping and continues recording. This means that, with this system, it will likely capture plenty of footage beforehand, and it does this for the very reasons some of the commenters are pointing out above.

    • That actually does clear that up, thanx.
      On a different note: might this reduce officers report writing workload? They might simply say in some ” please see video starting at 05:52:17″ or similar? I could see them being very thankful if that would satisfy that tedious task.

  7. My tiny, self contained motorcycle helmet camera can record a half hour loop of video and can last two hours with the internal battery.
    An hour at 720p is about 2.25GB. A 32GB memory card is negligible in price, compared to these lawsuits.
    A battery with ten times that capacity is about the size and weight of a loaded 17-round 9mm magazine, and costs under $50.
    Why not just record everything they do during a shift? When they go into the bathroom, or some other privacy break situation, they can just pop the camera off its mount, disconnecting it from power and turning it off.
    For cruisers, it makes even more sense. Put multiple cameras in each direction, for a 360º view, and record everything over the whole shift. If the officer has an “incident” at 15:43, just scrub through the video to 15:30 and start watching.
    The vast majority of police are honest, respectful people, so they should welcome this to protect their honor.

  8. Awesome, link thru HD realtime streaming (FirstNet) store of servers. Process thru license plate reader and facial recognition software. No pesky warrants required.


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