Deputies in the Kit Carson County Sheriff’s Office in Burlington, Colorado, will soon wear Samsung Galaxy S9 smartphones on their vests. The phones will serve as body cameras and will run on AT&T’s LTE-based FirstNet public safety platform. In addition to recording footage, they’ll serve as personnel locators, digital cameras and secondary radios.
Using Galaxy S9s as body cameras might bring some benefits, like automatic uploads and real-time livestreams. But it’s an odd thing to tout at the moment, given all of the backlash about body cameras being worn but not turned on and growing concern about police-use of facial recognition — though Samsung did not say these devices will use facial recognition software.
Studies have found that police-worn body cameras don’t necessarily solve issues like excessive use of force, and they can be susceptible to hacking. Still, body cameras have become more common, and there’s a chance we’ll see more, small law enforcement teams looking for creative ways to equip their officers.