ASBURY, Ala. – Saving lives is what the Marshall County Sheriff’s Office hopes will happen with the help of a couple of new pieces of equipment.
It is the first department in the state to purchase the Bounce Imaging Tactical Camera.
It may look like something out of a sci-fi movie, but it is meant to find and communicate with bad guys in a safer way than the traditional methods.
“A ruggedized throwable camera,” said Bounce Imaging Southeast Regional Sales Manager Ty St. Clair. “Toss this into a room, then get on their device, pan 360 degrees and see what’s in there before they make entry.”
The Marshall County Sheriff’s Office just bought two of the Explorer Unleashed versions for $9,000, plus an annual $385 storage fee.
“This technology is going to replace about three or four other pieces of equipment that we traditionally use independent of each other. This one piece of equipment will replace those at a fraction of the cost,” said Sheriff Phil Sims.
“Instead of putting law enforcement, rescue personnel, or military lives in danger, they can get added situational awareness and increase the safety for themselves and the people they’re encountering,” said St. Clair.
Sims told News 19 Thursday at a demonstration of the camera inside Asbury High School that they can use the technology in active shooter situations, swat situations, jail lockdowns, and even while searching for someone trapped inside a collapsed building.
The cameras have two-way audio which opens up a line of communication to better de-escalate situations.
They also have infrared and motion detection capabilities.
“With the motion detector, it will highlight the motion in red, and then if it’s off-camera, you’ll get that yellow arrow that’s telling you the direction of the motion,” explained St. Clair and he showed News 19 the video in action.
“You can attach this to another rod, stick it onto a ceiling that’s dark because it has IR, infrared capability, so we’ll be able to see what’s in the dark in the attic. Traditionally, it would be a different kind of equipment or you have to poke your head in the attic which opens the officer up to the possibly being injured or shot,” Sims added.
The Explorer Unleashed cameras are 4G, have cloud-based storage, and can be viewed from different angles by multiple people on separate devices.
Another cool thing about them is there is actually only one camera, but it has six lenses, so not only does it view and record 360 degrees, it uses all those lenses form and maintains a stable one point of focus even as it rolls.
“It’ll help us serve the people of Marshall County better and more effectively, and it’ll actually help save lives believe it or not,” Sims said.
The department is using leftover technology upgrade grants to get the two cameras, which also meet military durability standards.
A representative with the Blount County Sheriff’s Office was also at Thursday’s product demonstration for the media.