Video camera glasses tested by Snohomish police

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by JAKE WHITTENBERG / KING 5 News

Bio | Email | Follow: @jakewhittenberg

KING5.com

Posted on June 22, 2011 at 2:20 PM

Updated Wednesday, Jun 22 at 5:58 PM

SNOHOMISH, Wash. – Snohomish Police have a new crime-fighting tool. At first glance you may not even notice.

Officers are wearing glasses with a tiny camera installed as part of a new pilot program.

"We see this as a really important program," Commander Fred Havener said.

The tiny camera, mounted into the bridge of the frame, records up to two hours of video on a small memory card in the glasses. The camera can be turned on and off with the touch of a button. The video can be uploaded onto a computer instantaneously.

"When we approach a violator, we are seeing things as (the officers) are," says Havener. "Later in a courtroom, the video would give jurors evidence exactly as officers see them."

Legally, Havener says the officers will have to announce they are recording video as they approach a subject.

The department is currently rotating a few pairs of glasses among officers as a test. The idea is to fine tune the quality before committing to several more pairs.

How much does this cost taxpayers? Nothing. The glasses have been donated by the Eye Care Center in Snohomish.

"This is our way of giving back," owner Dr. Anup Deol said. "We care about our community. These glasses make us safer, and it's the right thing to do."

The Eye Care Center is also holding a sale on Friday with proceeds go to the Snohomish Police Foundation, a non-profit organization to support the police department which is currently struggling financially.

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