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There’s been a lot of discussion lately concerning the safety of civilians while in the hands of law enforcement. That is why many feel it is time that police officers begin employing the use of body cameras. Several communities argue it’s necessary in order to maintain public safety. Recorded footage also functions as an excellent source of evidence providing a real-time sequence in which events take place.

I won’t go into the nitty gritty of such incidents because it’s most likely being covered in your evening news, but the fact of the matter is too many victims are losing their lives unnecessarily at the hands of police. To call this growing phenomenon a coincidence dismisses discrepancies within the police force. Tactics such as profiling are securely embedded within police culture, but that still fails to explain the considerable amount of police shootings. Though the introduction of body cameras will not guarantee an end to these occurrences, they may provide insight to the missing links that currently loom over these events.

In San Francisco, the SFPD has experienced numerous delays in rolling out body-worn cameras, a plan that was originally announced back in 2011. And last year, the White House announced their plan to equip more officers with cameras, designating a three year budget of $75 million in equipment alone. But why hasn’t anyone seen these plans executed? It’s not as if the funding isn’t available or resources don’t exist. In fact, several companies have responded to the public’s demands and inquiries, presenting law enforcement with a variety of directions to chose from. Some will argue the hassle associated with troubleshooting, while others claim body-worn devices are invasive to suspects and officers alike.

Arizona’s Taser International just revealed its newest model, the Axon Body 2, offering unlimited HD data storage, combining mobile and cloud-based technologies to provide seamless real-time recordings. The Axon 2 is also compatible with Axon Flex, the tiny clip-on camera that can be mounted to safety glasses. At $399, agencies can opt for Taser’s monthly cloud services of an additional $79. With a tough exterior and high-end specs, the Axon can withstand numerous conditions and perform in various lighting conditions.


Similarly, the video surveillance company, Digital Ally, offers their own data management system,, that syncs with the VuVaultGo app and FirstVu HD camera. Like Taser, Digital Ally and many other companies are offering services ranging from data storage to mobile access in an attempt to avoid third-party involvement. Many designers are hopeful that this route will ensure the handling of private information is executed seamlessly and with discretion.

Just last week, Motorola Solutions tossed their name into the body-cam lottery with the release of the Smart Interface series. What they have to show demonstrates the vast possibilities in functionality and design. Models Si300 and Si500 consolidate video and audio recording, along with radio dispatch into one compact device. But Motorola doesn’t offer any type of data storage like its competitors. So who can you count on? Microsoft.

Offering a “trusted cloud,” Microsoft has definitely upped the ante with their release of Azure Government Cloud. And for all the skeptics worrying if Azure is tough enough to withstand countless files of confidential information, the software giant vows to provide top-notch security, and is currently the only cloud platform to abide by CJIS guidelines. That is definitely a sure way to build a trusting relationship.

And that is not all for Microsoft; they’ve recently paired up with Taser to create a digital environment specifically geared towards law enforcement needs, making them the toughest virtual crime-fighters on the block. Implementing Windows 10 and Azure Government, data will be collected from the Axon 2 and yield a handful of other supplemental databases to work from, including Axon’s, a data management workflow. This combination is similar to Apple’s Batch Monitor and flickr, a much needed resource when scrubbing through endless hours of footage equipped with file sharing capabilities. What will this experience offer that differs from the rest of the market? More support for officers and more transparency to ease public concerns.


From analyzing to file sharing, this partnership will be the first of its kind to deliver on performance driven and industry-leading data collection available to local governments. Before Mircosoft’s involvement, Amazon was the largest and most trusted provider in government data storage via their Web Services (AWS), but that has since shifted as services are being tailored to address the conversation that has most of America concerned: safety.

So who’s missing from this heated colloquy? GoPro, who coincidentally, profits from several military and government organizations. Surely their line of products are rugged enough for duty, but it seems they’ve missed out on the opportunity, or have no interest delving into the subject even though talk has circulated concerning the company’s current endeavors: drones and cloud service. Is there a possibility in the making? That continues to remain a mystery.

The recent uprisings that have spread across America have launched a roundtable discussion highlighting the rise of police misconduct, urging reform within law enforcement. Outfitting our officers with technology to hold them accountable for their actions is certainly a step in the right direction.

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