DHS S&T Seeks Information on Body Cameras with Automatic Activation

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Science and Technology Directorate (S&T) has released a request for information (RFI) seeking information on commercially available body cameras that feature the ability to automatically begin recording based on sensors triggered by surrounding events. Of particular interest is information on what external sensors are available and the specifications of the sensors and cameras. The technologies will be considered for inclusion in a market survey being conducted by S&T’s National Urban Security Technology Laboratory (NUSTL).

“Automatically activated body cameras offer a range of potential benefits from corroborating evidence to enhancing the safety of both officers and the public they protect,” said Blaise Linn, NUSTL engineer. “Recordings provide transparency by monitoring personnel, documenting interactions, and preserving evidence. They may also deter aggressive behavior, support the accuracy of written reports, provide a training tool, or aid in improving standard operating procedures.”

Body cameras record first-responder interactions with other responders and the public while on duty. In the past, the responsibility of activating the camera fell upon the wearer, who is often preoccupied with handling the situation at hand or who may be unable to take attention off what they are doing to activate the camera. To solve this problem, some of today’s body cameras can automatically start recording when they sense certain triggers.

The market survey report – produced by NUSTL’s System Assessment and Validation for Emergency Responders (SAVER) program – will collect technical information on which products on the market have this capability. The survey will be posted to the SAVER Document Library, where the findings can be accessed by state, local, federal, tribal, territorial, and campus emergency response agencies making procurement decisions about body cameras.

Interested industry partners have until 5:00 PM EDT, December 24, 2021 to submit their products.

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