KEMAH, Texas (FOX 26) - When detective Alonzo Sosa hit the streets of Kemah, he has a new partner -- one that rides in his holster and is ready when he needs it. It's not his gun but a camera attached to it.
"One of the things I like about this camera. Most officers body are up here, the camera would be covered up," he says demonstrating how his hands and gun would block a body camera’s view.
That has been one of the criticisms about body cameras. Also, sometimes officers forget to turn them on or the body camera is pointed in the wrong direction and miss the shooting entirely. The gun camera turns on automatically when the gun is drawn and shuts off when it's holstered. It has 32 gigs of memory, it's waterproof, weighs 3 ounces, has a built in light and a removable rechargeable battery. It requires no modification of the gun. The cost? About $500. The Kemah Police Department has been experimenting with this one for about a month now.
"I like to think in Kemah we are innovative and so if there's a product out there that's going to benefit us as officers by transparency we're going to jump all over it," said Chief Chris Reed
It's made by Minnesota-based Viridian Weapon Technologies. It was developed in direct response over the outcry of police shootings in the last three years.
"There are about 200 departments that are testing. There are a handful that have purchased and implemented but we expect that number to grow quickly," said CEO Brian Hedeen.
The gun cameras have not been put to the test yet. The only shootings they've captured have been the ones in training videos.