New Technology Turns On Officer’s Body Cam When Gun Is Drawn

CHARLOTTE, NC. —  New technology is helping law enforcement capture dangerous situations from all angles. It turns on their body cameras automatically when they draw their gun from its holster. The technology is being used near Columbia.

Deputies in Richland County, South Carolina have been using Signal Sidearm for eight months. The moment a deputy draws their weapon, it turns on the body camera, wirelessly. Also, any other body cam within 30 feet of the deputy.

“If it’s a situation that got hostile and another deputy pulled out their weapon, it would actually turn on their cameras too, because we need everything that’s happening on the scene,” says Tina Roy with Richland County Sheriff’s Department.

Law enforcement attorney Scott Maclatchie says the Bluetooth technology could help put the pieces together during an investigation. Especially, an officer-involved shooting.

“Someone else had a different angle and maybe saw movement or saw things the shooting officer didn’t see,” says Maclatchie.

Right now, CMPD does not use technology. WCCB asked the department if they would consider using it. They didn’t get back to us with an answer.

A CMPD source says it would beneficial for the officer, just in case something happens in a split second, and they didn’t have time to turn on their body camera.

Officer Larry Deal was the first at the Burger King on Beatties Ford Road on March 25th, when Officer Wende Kerl shot and killed Danquirs  Franklin. Deal’s body camera wasn’t on. The only video the public has seen is from Kerl’s camera.

President of the Charlotte NAACP, Corine Mack, says the new technology would be vital in gaining public trust.

“It’s all about transparency. It’s all about having the visual about what actually happened,” says Mack.