Body cameras gain popularity with cops on patrol
The small camera attaches to glasses and can record 12 hours of footage
By Matt Gutman and Seni Tienabeso
MESA, Ariz. — There have been reality shows about cops in the past but, for the first time, cameras about the size of a cigarette lighter are revealing a cop's true reality and providing them with evidence to help protect officers from false accusations.
Officer Steve York patted his chest to activate a camera mounted on his sunglasses, then pounded the gas pedal. A high-speed chase through the streets of Mesa, Ariz., followed with cameras. Every morning, York, a former Marine and 19-year veteran of the Mesa Police Department, grabs his handcuffs, gun and Axon Flex camera. The bullet-shaped, 3.2-inch camera, made by TASER, can record as much as 12 hours of footage and is fast becoming a lifeline in York's daily patrols.
Here's how it works: The Axon camera is strapped to an officer's chest, along with a record button. When an officer hits record, the video starts 30 seconds prior to when he hit the button. It captures every scream, alley-way race and confrontation with clear audio. At the end of his shift, York takes the camera off his glasses and slides it into the Evidence Transfer Manager program, which downloads the footage and then uploads it to Evidence.com, a website maintained by TASER.