LAPD getting tasers that trigger recording when used

On the heels of President Obama calling for more police to wear body cameras, Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti vowed to bring around 8,000 cameras to the LAPD. Not content with monitoring, the LAPD is also purchasing 3,130 tasers that connect to those body cameras. The Taser X26P, a "smart" taser released two years ago, will automatically activate the worn camera if the safety is turned off. The two pair over Bluetooth, theoretically calling for rolling tape each time the taser is fired.

The five-year deal will see 2,270 older tasers retrofitted for bluetooth connectivity, and 860 Taser X26Ps "as part of the roll out of 860 body cameras". The deal will also give Taser license to repair or replace the tasers as needed. Taser is also tasked with finding replacement weapons in five years' time.

The connection triggers recording after the safety is disarmed, but that may not tell the whole story. The goal seems to be a reduction in force, with the release mentioning "a 2009 study by the Police Executive Research Forum sponsored by the National Institute of Justice found that the use of TASER devices reduced the risk of police officer injuries by 70% and the risk of injury to suspects by 40%."

The recording via body cameras show what happened after the taser was armed, while the taser itself keeps logs on use, noting things like how often it was fired and if the darts made contact.

Taser also says the police force will receive training on the use of the tasers/cameras, which we assume means best practices for when to turn the safety off for camera usage ahead of firing. At least, we hope they get that training.

Source: Taser

Via: Reuters