|600 Taser Cams for Las Vegas Metro 08:02 pm kvbc.com.|
Metro officers say they are seeing more and more violent attacks against them. One of the weapons officers have at their disposal to protect themselves and the public is the TASER®. Soon, many of them will be equipped with cameras.
But these weapons are not without controversy. News 3's Luis Cruz takes a closer look at these devices.
The TASER® is used to temporarily immobilize a suspect. But some critics say there have been instances across the country where the use of them have been linked to deaths. However, a recent study by Wake Forest University suggests the TASER® is safe, and Metro agrees.
"We maintain that it is a safe device and it has in fact saved lives and it has saved injuries and not just cops' lives but suspect injuries," insists Metro's TASER® coordinator, Marcus Martin.
Metro is in the process of updating their TASERS®. The department recently received a $240,000 grant that will allow them to buy about 600 cameras for the devices. Everything that an officer sees and hears will now be captured on small a camera attached to the TASER®. The camera automatically turns on once the safety is unlocked.
"It helps the officer, it helps the department and it also shows the citizens on the street that we're not trying to hide anything; this is actually what had happened," Metro's Andy Williams said.
Metro says it will use the video from the TASER® cams as evidence and to help in their investigations. The department says it's seen a 54 percent decrease in officer injuries since they started using the TASER®.