Taser to offer new sensor that automatically turns on body camera

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The Signal Sidearm not only turns on the body-worn camera of the officer who drew the weapon, but also engages any Taser-brand body cameras within 30 feet. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5) The Signal Sidearm not only turns on the body-worn camera of the officer who drew the weapon, but also engages any Taser-brand body cameras within 30 feet. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)
Taser said the Signal Sidearm will hit the market in the summer. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5) Taser said the Signal Sidearm will hit the market in the summer. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)
Dalvin Hollins (Source: Family photo) Dalvin Hollins (Source: Family photo)
SCOTTSDALE, AZ (3TV/CBS 5) -

In this new era of police body cameras, when a situation turns deadly, and the cameras aren't rolling, it can quickly lead to controversy. But Scottsdale-based Taser International may have a solution.

The company announced it will soon offer a sensor that mounts to an officer's holster. The premise is simple: gun drawn, camera on. 

The Signal Sidearm not only turns on the body-worn camera of the officer who drew the weapon but also engages any Taser-brand body cameras within 30 feet. Taser's Axon body cameras store 30 seconds of buffer footage, meaning the camera will also record the actions immediately before the officer draws the weapon.

The family of Dalvin Hollins says police departments should adopt the technology.

[RELATED: Parents of man killed by Tempe officer speak out]

"I think it's a good idea that Taser came up with," said Frederick Franklin, Hollins' step-father.

In July, Hollins was shot and killed by a Tempe police officer after robbing a pharmacy. The unarmed 19-year-old was shot in the back.

According to Tempe police, the officer was wearing a body camera at the time, but it wasn't turned on.

[READ MORE: Armed robbery suspect dead after officer-involved shooting in Tempe]

"If the officer had the camera on, we wouldn't have had no protest or been able to talk about it because he'd be able to prove he was justified in what he did. That's what I thought the cameras was for," Franklin said.

Based on Hollins' wound in the back, Franklin said he suspects the officer's actions were unjustified. The case is still under review by the Maricopa County Attorney's Office.

The Signal Sidearm will hit the market this summer.

Copyright 2017 KPHO/KTVK (KPHO Broadcasting Corporation). All rights reserved.


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Derek StaahlDerek Staahl is an Emmy Award-winning reporter and fill-in anchor who loves covering stories that matter most to Arizona families.

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This once-uncompromising "California guy" got his first taste of Arizona in 2015 while covering spring training baseball for his former station. The trip spanned just three days, but Derek quickly decided Phoenix should be his next address. He joined CBS 5 and 3TV four months later, in August 2015. Before packing his bags for the Valley of the Sun, Derek spent nearly four years at XETV in San Diego, where he was promoted to Weekend Anchor and Investigative Reporter. Derek chaired the Saturday and Sunday 10 p.m. newscasts, which regularly earned the station's highest ratings for a news program each week. Derek’s investigative reporting efforts into the Mayor Bob Filner scandal in 2013 sparked a "governance crisis" for the city of San Diego and was profiled by the region’s top newspaper. Derek broke into the news business at WKOW-TV in Madison, WI. He wrote, shot, edited, and presented stories during the week, and produced newscasts on the weekends. By the end of his stint, he was promoted to part-time anchor on WKOW’s sister station, WMSN. Derek was born in Los Angeles and was named the “Undergraduate Broadcast Journalism Student of the Year” in his graduating class at USC. He also played quads in the school’s famous drumline. When not reporting the news, Derek enjoys playing drumset, sand volleyball, and baseball.

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