With two stun-gun manufacturers prepared to equip their weapons with video
cameras next year, San Jose Police Chief Rob Davis said Friday he would be open to exploring their
``I certainly think it's worth looking into, any advance of technology has to be looked at,'' Davis
Next year, North Carolina-based Singer Systems plans to sell an add-on for its guns called the TruVu
camera, which will film MPEG-4 video. Also, rival Taser International will release an audio/video recorder,
according to an article on CNET's News.com, a technology news Web site.
The video cameras will record whenever the stun guns are used on a person.
Davis said he couldn't endorse the idea yet because there are many unanswered questions, such as cost and
effectiveness. ``It's the first I heard of it. How will it affect the device? Will it make it more difficult
to use?'' Davis asked.
On the surface, Davis said, he sees some advantages. ``A videotape can be just as useful to the police
department as it would be to the people who are wondering if Tasers are effective. It could be good
Critics have charged that the stun guns are dangerous and misused while the police maintain the weapons
are a non-lethal alternative to guns. Amnesty International recently released a report calling on law
enforcement agencies to suspend their use of Tasers, which the group links to more than 70 deaths in the past
The San Jose Police Department began using Taser guns this year in order to cut down on the number of
injuries to officers and others, and, ultimately, to reduce the number of deadly police shootings.
The 665 Taser stun guns carried by San Jose police officers use darts to deliver electrical pulses that
can incapacitate a person in a quarter of a second.
A Mercury News report found that the 50,000-volt weapons were being fired an average of about every other