The development of the Internet of Things has spurned a great deal of innovation in the field of legaltech. One such innovation belongs to the firearm safety company Yardarm. Yardarm’s sensor can be attached to the butt of a gun and record information about how it is used: when it is unholstered and holstered, where the gun is when it is in use, etc. In this way, Yardarm can record and transmit information about the potential use of deadly force when added to police firearms.

Though the Yardarm technology would be extremely useful on its own, the company hopes to integrate these sensors with other existing technology. For example, when the sensors record a gun being unholstered, it could trigger a body camera to turn on and start recording, eliminating the possibility of officers forgetting to turn on the cameras. Additionally, because the sensor records where the gun is when it is unholstered, it can alert an officer’s colleagues to their position without their needing to receive a call for backup. Yardarm could also be used to better train officers. If, during training, an officer’s gun is recorded as being unholstered too often, this can be amended before the officer is placed on active duty.

While tech like Yardarm’s sensors and body cameras are useful, they also bring up a lot of legal questions. Many are questioning who should be able to access body cam footage, and as Yardarm is relatively new, it will most likely face similar concerns. These sensors cab be used to keep police officers safe and accountable, though, and Reginald Wilkinson of the Ohio Attorney General’s Advisory Group on Law Enforcement Training states that, “Every bullet issued to a law enforcement officer is supposed to be accounted for, in theory, at least. If there is a way to make that a certain reality, then I think we’ll see more and more of it.”

Article via Buzzfeed, November 5, 2015

Photo: Witness 1911 #3 via Theleom [Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs]