Police department in northern Arizona will equip guns with cameras for officers

WILLIAMS, AZ (3TV/CBS 5) – A police department in northern Arizona is using new technology to record actions by its officers.

The Williams Police Department, which is just west of Flagstaff, has teamed up with Viridian Weapon Technologies for weapon-mounted cameras for its officers.

The cameras fit on the gun and holsters and records automatically, “providing an unobstructed view from the end of an officer’s firearm,” said Viridian Weapon Technologies.

The department was one of the first in the country to evaluate the weapon-mounted cameras. It’s unclear how many officers will have the cameras on their guns.

“We’ve seen the need for something like this for a while,” said Williams Police Chief Herman Nixon in an emailed statement. “We had a chance to test this product right away, and it makes sense for our department. What we like about it is the fact that we don’t need to retrain anyone, it records automatically and it provides visibility into an officer-involved-shooting if it occurs.”

Viridian Weapon Technologies said the weapon-mounted camera includes a 1080p full-HD digital camera with a microphone and a 500 lumen tactical light. The camera automatically starts recording when the officer draws the gun from the holster. The company says the camera records better than a body camera since the officer doesn’t have to worry about turning on anything during an incident.

There is no extra training officers have to go through to handle the cameras. The cameras cost around $525 each. The police department will give more details on Wednesday, Nov. 14.

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