Free cam encounters

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After two recent failed bids, in New York and Phoenix, the company was accused of unfairly trying to influence those police departments with offers of “free” cameras.

Vievu, a smaller competitor owned by the police supplier Safariland, said in a statement that the free camera effort was a publicity stunt that “is at best unethical and at worst illegal.” Along with the heavy internal expense of using cameras, the company warned of lock-in: that using Axon’s software for a year will effectively force police to commit to its services for the longterm, “or face exorbitant switching costs.”John Collins, a Vievu spokesperson, said the offer is “analogous to asking someone to get a free tattoo on his or her face—you’d better be sure you want it because it is very difficult to get rid of it once you do.”Smith has dismissed some of the allegations against Axon as “a little bit of noise that comes with being a market leader,” but says that to avoid conflicts, it will not offer free cameras to law enforcement agencies with whom it’s already pursuing business.

Wade Henderson, president and CEO of The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, which has studied the impacts of body cameras, said that if departments accept this offer, “they must develop and implement body camera policies that uphold accountability and protect the rights of those being recorded.”The fierce competition and thorny questions underscore the national rush to adopt the technology in the wake of a series of high-profile deaths, many of unarmed black men, at the hands of police.

Bolstered by over million in Justice Department grants during the Obama administration, the push has been called by some police experts the fastest upgrade in policing tech they’d ever seen.

Without proper policies developed with the input of the public, civil rights advocates warn that cameras are not only ineffective at helping improve police transparency and accountability, but could have a negative impact—eroding privacy, hurting community trust, and exacerbating the effects of existing racial bias.

Eventually, Smith says, the software will help automatically analyze the video for more immediately useful and actionable data, integrating with legacy systems for records management, and saving time and money for police.

Combining body camera video with artificial intelligence could also automate other parts of police work, for instance, by capturing license plate numbers and faces in order to find criminals.

Based on list prices, Smith estimates the trial will be worth about

Without proper policies developed with the input of the public, civil rights advocates warn that cameras are not only ineffective at helping improve police transparency and accountability, but could have a negative impact—eroding privacy, hurting community trust, and exacerbating the effects of existing racial bias.

Eventually, Smith says, the software will help automatically analyze the video for more immediately useful and actionable data, integrating with legacy systems for records management, and saving time and money for police.

Combining body camera video with artificial intelligence could also automate other parts of police work, for instance, by capturing license plate numbers and faces in order to find criminals.

Based on list prices, Smith estimates the trial will be worth about $1,700 a year per officer.

But it won’t be completely “free”: Body cameras mean additional costs for police administration and staff in order to manage the torrents of footage they generate.

Taser, the company known for its eponymous electric stun guns, announced on Wednesday it would change its name to Axon as part of its aggressive push to dominate the burgeoning market for body cameras—and the lucrative video and data services those cameras require.

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Without proper policies developed with the input of the public, civil rights advocates warn that cameras are not only ineffective at helping improve police transparency and accountability, but could have a negative impact—eroding privacy, hurting community trust, and exacerbating the effects of existing racial bias.Eventually, Smith says, the software will help automatically analyze the video for more immediately useful and actionable data, integrating with legacy systems for records management, and saving time and money for police.Combining body camera video with artificial intelligence could also automate other parts of police work, for instance, by capturing license plate numbers and faces in order to find criminals.Based on list prices, Smith estimates the trial will be worth about $1,700 a year per officer.But it won’t be completely “free”: Body cameras mean additional costs for police administration and staff in order to manage the torrents of footage they generate.Taser, the company known for its eponymous electric stun guns, announced on Wednesday it would change its name to Axon as part of its aggressive push to dominate the burgeoning market for body cameras—and the lucrative video and data services those cameras require.

,700 a year per officer.

But it won’t be completely “free”: Body cameras mean additional costs for police administration and staff in order to manage the torrents of footage they generate.

Taser, the company known for its eponymous electric stun guns, announced on Wednesday it would change its name to Axon as part of its aggressive push to dominate the burgeoning market for body cameras—and the lucrative video and data services those cameras require.

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