Disaster Zone

Body Cameras and the Internet of Things

Let your imaginations run wild.

by Eric Holdeman / May 27, 2015

Get used to seeing IoT (Internet of Things) as a topic and how you will interact with technology. How will having your toaster connected to the Internet change things? See The Internet of First Responder Things blog post by Bill Schrier.

Which brings me to the topic of body cameras. Governing has a great article in the current edition on the topic of body cameras and the issues that come with integrating a new technology into the workplace.

Issues include when are the cameras turned on and off, public disclosure requests, disciplinary uses for law enforcement officers wearing them, etc. All of these issues will keep elected officials in state legislatures busy in the coming years. The article reports that 29 bills on the topic of body cameras have been introduced in different state legislatures.

And we are just starting to address the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the number of agencies employing the devices. It is estimated that 4,000 out of 18,000 law enforcement departments are using them today. I agree with one statement in the referenced article that says that body cameras will end up being standard issue pieces of equipment.

Which brings up the IoT point associated with this story. Today an officer has to make a deliberate decision to turn his or her camera on. What if the holster or the gun being used by an officer had a chip that automatically turned on the camera when it was drawn from the holster? This is one small example of the IoT.  

In my day job with the Center for Regional Disaster Resilience, we are having a session at the Pacific Northwest Economic Region's Summit later this summer. One of the topics will be on the legal ramifications and need for new legislation, policies and procedures for the use of the plethora of new technologies that are about to descend on all of us.

Life and emergency management just got a little bit more complicated!