Kansas company gets boost from call for police body cameras

On-body camera (AP Photo/Damian Dovarganes, File)

LENEXA, Kansas (KSHB) – One Lenexa company may get a big boost in business following a new call to put body cameras on thousands more officers nationwide.

In Johnson County, more than 100 employees design, build and sell small cameras that are now the next big thing for law enforcement.

“Over the last year, the interest in body cameras really skyrocketed,” Heath Bideau, a sales manager at Digital Ally, said.

Bideau says the company, which started out making dashboard cameras for police, has seen inquiries about its body cameras rise from 300 to 1,300 departments nationwide.

“We really believe body cameras are going to be on just about every officer in the next few years,” Bideau said.

The company also sells software to help departments manage all the video the camera’s unblinking eye records, something they believe make dedicated boy cameras better than a GoPro or an iPhone-wielding witness.

When a grand jury chose not to indict a NYC police officer in the death of Eric Garner, despite the entire incident being captured by a bystander, some people, including Garner’s mother, Gwen Carr, wondered if cameras can really change policing for the better.

“I mean, they had a video that represents a body camera,” Carr said.

Bideau agreed cameras alone can’t calm confrontations between law enforcement and civilians, but they’re a start.

“Whether I’m the officer or the person involved,” Bideau said. “I’d certainly much rather have the video than not.”

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