The RoboCop look is coming nationwide, a law enforcement supplier says, and Johnson County, Ks., deputies are testing cameras they wear on their ears, reports the Kansas City Star. In an age when everyone has a cellphone camera, video of police pounding a suspect can go viral and feed a lawsuit. Said Sgt. Paul Nonnast of the Johnson County Sheriff's Office, “This gives us the ability to show what happens from the officer's point of view from start to finish.
Just 16 police agencies nationwide have bought the gear, called AXON, although about 100 are testing it, said Steve Tuttle, Taser International vice president of communications. Taser started marketing it more than a year ago. “This is a game changer,” he said. “Police and suspects behave better when they know it is being recorded.” The units cost about $1,700 each and about $1,300 more a year to store the digital video. Johnson County deputies are using them so far for domestic violence calls, on SWAT teams, for warrant searches and to document sobriety tests. “It's a double-edged sword,” said Taser’s Tuttle. If there is something that is bad (done by police), it will catch it and still protect the public. It's a neutral observer.”