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Police dogs have always helped their human counterparts through their eyes and nose, and now some of the dogs are getting their own backup — cameras that transmit live video.
The devices generally attach to dogs' backs on a vest and transmit video to a handler watching from a screen, possibly on their wrist or around their necks. It's so the officers can better assess what they are up against before they go into a situation.
Encounter - People - Anyone - Shawn - Gore
"If we have a really close encounter with armed people it doesn't work out well for anyone," said Shawn Gore, Portland, Oregon, police K-9 officer. "If we can gain distance it gives us lots of options to negotiate and de-escalate."
David Ferland, executive director for the United States Police Canine Association, a training program for police dogs, said departments generally use the cameras when dogs go out to look for suspects, missing people or explosives — for the dog's safety and for intelligence gathering.
Ferland - Statistics - Percent - Agencies - Cameras
Ferland doesn't have statistics but he suspects fewer than 5 percent of agencies have the cameras because they are so expensive. Most cost between $6,000 and $20,000, he said.
But some K-9 academies are already training dogs...
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