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Axon Signal: Record Without Lifting a Finger

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Axon Signal started from a simple idea: we wanted to make the lives of law enforcement easier so that they wouldn't even have to think about turning on their cameras while on the job. Axon Signal lets law enforcement officials record video footage without lifting a finger.

Officers need to record the most critical events, even when they're under intense stress. In an instant, a simple citizen interaction may become a high-stakes exchange. We know turning on their body-worn camera may not be on the top of their to-do list in the heat of the moment.

That's why we made Signal. Here's a little more background info:

What does it do?

Signal captures critical encounters—something that saves agencies time, money, and a great deal of frustration in the long run.

We've listened to the needs of law enforcement. Officers who use Signal are responsible for turning off their activated cameras, just as agencies requested.

Signal is flexible. It can integrate with any current in-car or light bar system, and can take inputs from a variety of devices. Common triggers include the light bar, crash sensors, speed, and front and rear doors. And Signal, as part of Axon's wireless connectivity platform, links to TASER Smart Weapons. Signal activates all Axon cameras within 30 feet.

Why Signal?

We know agencies need Signal because they will have to return to some of their videos—even if that only means 1 to 3 percent of what they record. That small sliver could matter a lot, and encompass litigation, complaints, use of force incidents, and so on. The solution—recording extra, “nuisance” videos of everyday interactions instead of missing vital footage—is an important trade-off for most departments. Signal guarantees that all footage goes recorded and saved.

On the ground

We asked Sergeant Bill Kuykendall, of Buda Police Department, about Signal. His department has had Signal in 10 patrol cars since the summer. He said it was an obvious move for his department to make.

“Signal is just key to making things work automatically, which answers the call to a lot of what chiefs and departments want,” he said, “which is the automatic activation just in case we don't get into that 'Uh oh, I forgot to double tap my controller.' That provides a lot of reassurance for us.”

Buda faced this type of “uh oh” situation before the 16-officer department adopted Signal.

“Before Signal, we had a pursuit that would have been wonderful if the officer remembered to activate, to do the double tap, but he didn't, and so therefore he was out of compliance with the policy, but you couldn't really enforce that policy,” Kuykendall said. “Now it's just a seamless transition, so when the lights come on, the camera's activated, everything's hot.”

Some may hesitate about the transition to cameras with automatic activation. But for Kuykendall and Buda PD, the transition was seamless and didn't require a change in retention policy.

“They installed it, we played around with it for a couple of weeks at best, and then everybody just forgets about it. That's it,” he said. “As far as feedback, it just works.”

So there you have it—Axon Signal just works. It lets officers forget about their new technology in the heat of the moment, letting them do their job and recording important encounters. Signal starts so they don't have to stop.