Scottsdale police enforcing laws in high-definition

Posted at 6:33 AM, Aug 31, 2017
and last updated 2017-08-31 10:12:19-04

Scottsdale police will soon be enforcing laws in high-definition. 

"Public and police relations being what they are these days, we want the public to know that we're recording," said Sgt. Brian Reynolds, who leads the department's body camera program. 

The city started deploying body cameras three years ago using a device mounted on an officer's chest that recorded at DVD quality. By today's standards, that video can appear blurry and grainy with distorted audio. It "was often times difficult to see what was actually occurring," Reynolds told ABC15. 

Through their contract with Axon, the Valley company formerly known as Taser International, the department is upgrading all 140 of its body cameras to the 'Axon Flex 2' -- which can be mounted on an officer's shoulder or sunglasses and records at a wider angle in high-definition. In addition to providing a clearer picture, the units can store up to 20 hours of video. Reynolds said the upgrade was negotiated in the initial contract with Axon and there is no additional cost. 

By the end of the year, police hope to add another 60 cameras, enough for every officer on patrol.

Officers are required to activate the cameras on every stop or call. The footage is then uploaded to a secure, encrypted cloud service.