Seattle Police Using Tiny Video Cameras As Liability Avoidance


A small camera that can store more than four hours of video has hit the streets clipped to Seattle police, reports the Seattle Times. The 3 1/2-ounce battery-powered cameras allow police to capture video images of events they encounter. Last month an officer was seen wearing a tiny black-and-green camera as 300 demonstrators from the bicycle group Critical Mass rode through downtown Seattle.

The cameras are made by a Seattle company named VIEVU, which has sold the devices to law-enforcement departments throughout the state, said Steve Ward, a former Seattle police officer who founded the company. “The community wants their police to be more accountable, and video gives you an exact account of what happens in an incident,” Ward said. “It’s all about liability coverage.” The device, which resembles a pager, is almost completely waterproof and can be attached to an officer’s uniform, helmet or belt. Ward said the device is also sold to civilians and has been popular among doctors, lawyers, and anyone else who might need to record business meetings to avoid potential litigation. Christina Drummond of the American Civil Liberties Union of Washington, said the group has concerns about moving toward a “surveillance society.” She wants Seattle police and other agencies will share the guidelines they set for officers on video recording.


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