A smart gun will not solve all of our policing problems, but it could be a start. If policemen carried guns that could record location, whether or not it is holstered, which direction it is facing, when it is fired and how many rounds it has left – video-game-like data that can be analyzed on the fly – we may start seeing clearer answers as to what happens or doesn’t happen with cops on the field.

Then again, actual video footage of what happens in the field can’t seem to get an indictment these days, so why bother with fancy guns in the first place?

The company, Yardarm Technologies, is based out of Santa Cruz, California, and says its main initiative is police officer safety. Sure, that sounds a little PR-ish, but clearly, getting police opposition out of the way is going to be critical in getting this thing to the mainstream. Data is the enemy of a bad cop, after all.

Obviously, keeping cops alive is important, but rogue trigger-happy cops are also an increasing problem. The big question is: will smart guns aid in keeping innocent citizens safe as much as it does police officers?

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Newsweek reports on the goal:

“Yardarm hopes the live data will help departments support officers in the field by quickly alerting them to a dangerous situation, but also provide an objective record of an incident after the fact. The information could either exonerate policemen of wrongdoing or provide the information necessary to hold them accountable.”

Regardless of how we’ll handle the information provided by the smart guns, there is no doubt the technology itself is incomparable. Yardarm explains:

“The Yardarm Sensor connects firearms to the Yardarm Cloud and delivers telemetry that allows for real-time geo-location and event awareness that can then be delivered to any end-point via the Cloud. The Yardarm solution gives law enforcement, private security, and the military the capability to track and monitor their organization’s firearms in real-time, connecting them to computer aided dispatch (CAD) centers, real-time crime centers (RTCC), or edge devices such as smartphones, tablets, or laptops. By instantly alerting commanders and command centers of critical events in the field, Yardarm allows organizations to respond and support officers in the field faster than ever before…”

Yardarm illustrates the main components of the system in the below diagram.

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One thing we know for sure: whether or not cops can get indicted when killing an unarmed kid, closely monitoring cops’ every action can have a drastic effect on the violence a police force inflicts on a community. In fact, the Wall Street Journal reports that use of force by cops in Rialto, CA dropped by 60% after the city adopted a policy that required all cops to wear 24-hour cameras on their chests.

When you have the power to end lives without any significant consequence, it only makes sense that you. Know more.