What the Officer Sees, the Jury Will See

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    NEWSLETTERS

    NBCSanDiego

    Several officers with the San Diego Police Department are testing head-mounted video cameras as part of a pilot project.

    "Officers are currently getting training as we speak," Sgt. Darryl Hoover said.

    What the Officer Sees, the Jury Will See

    [DGO] What the Officer Sees, the Jury Will See
    It's not exactly like RoboCop, but it's close. (Published Tuesday, Feb 23, 2010)

    The camera is a little bigger than a Bluetooth earpiece and the recording device is the size of a large cell phone.

    "It will last easily through an officer's 10 hour shift," Sgt. Hoover said.

    Nine officers from the Mid-City Division of the SDPD are testing the cameras for the next 60 days. The department is the first in Southern California to try the device.

    "What the camera does is allow us to collect that evidence and retain that as we go to the courts, as we go to the District Attorney's office and it helps us write better reports and investigations," Assistant Chief Bob Kanaski said.

    This system records streaming audio and video of what was said and done during an officer's contact with the public, at a crime scene or critical moments leading up to a confrontation. A handheld monitor lets the officer see exactly what's being recorded in the headset camera. The content can then be downloaded into a secure evidence-collecting server.

    Officers hope it will help them document what happens on duty.

    "If it's close to your head that you have the truest perspective that we have today to capture what the officer was looking at or view at the time the incident occurred," Sgt. Hoover said.

    The department is testing the device for free. They haven't decided whether this is a tool they'd use full-time.

    Taser International makes the cameras -- the same company that sells taser guns to the San Diego Police Dept.