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Allen Business Introduces Body Cams That Record 9 Straight Hours

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ALLEN -- "One of the key things for officers will be they need to do their job and their job is policing. Situations come up quickly," Steve Coffman, President of WatchGuard Video, explained.

A Fort Worth cop found that out earlier this week.  A suspect reportedly was threatening neighbors with a long knife and ended up shot in the arm when, cops say, he refused to put it down.

It turned out to be a barbeque fork.

Although the cop was wearing a body cam, Fort Worth P.D. says he didn't have time to turn it on.

"They need to be able to control the situation," Coffman explained. "Certainly protect the community and protect themselves as well. The first thing on their mind does not need to be whether or not I push a button to record this event or not."

WatchGuard Video in Allen, Texas, which provides one third of the squad car dash cams in the U.S., thinks it has a solution.

"On our newly released wearable camera, which is VISTA. We employ a technology called Record-After-The-Fact, which means the camera is always rolling -- such that, in the future if an officer doesn`t have time to push the button, he can go back in time and retrieve any event you might want to."

That's right.  The VISTA records nine hours straight and every second of it can be retrieved after the fact using software on the officer's computer.

But wait a minute.  What if the officer has to use the restroom?  Or is questioning a rape victim?  What about privacy?

"There is a balance between accountability and privacy. On our cameras, yes, in an event that you need to and according to department policy, you can turn them off. You can remove them on particular situations if policy allows as well."

The VISTA also has a wide angle lens, shoots in high definition, and it can be integrated with WatchGuard's dash cams, giving investigators lots of angles during a single event.

With more and more second guessing about what really happened when a suspect is shot by a cop, it looks like this little gadget could solve the case.

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