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    USA Today: Tiny cameras seen as future in police work

    USA Today reports on the increasing use of surveillance cameras in police work:

    When Fort Smith, Ark., police officer Brandon Davis opened the door to a home during a domestic assault call Nov. 11, he faced a man aiming a handgun directly at him.

    “Put the gun down! Put the gun down!,” Davis screamed before fatally shooting Eric Wayne Berry, whose wife, Connie, had called police and said her husband was threatening to kill her, prosecutor Daniel Shue stated in his report.

    What happened in the confrontation was captured on video in a way some law enforcement officials say could dramatically change police work.

    A tiny camera worn near Davis’ ear showed clearly that the officer had acted properly, Fort Smith Police Chief Kevin Lindsey says.

    The camera system, sold by Scottsdale, Ariz.-based Taser International, is being tested this month by officers in Fort Smith, Cincinnati, San Jose and Aberdeen, S.D. […]

    Dennis Kenney, a professor at the City University of New York’s John Jay College of Criminal Justice, says the technology has its drawbacks. “It raises tremendous privacy concerns,” he says. “It’s only a matter of time before one of these hits YouTube.”

    Representatives of Taser International say the video is transmitted to a secure site with no way for officers or others to tamper with it.

    “You can’t erase it. You can’t edit it,” says Sgt. Ronnie Lopez of the San Jose Police Department, where 18 officers are testing the system. […]

    About $5,700 would pay for an officer to be equipped with the system for three years, says Tom Smith, co-founder and chairman of Taser International.

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