Body cams now auto-activate when Hermiston Police officers draw - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Body cams now auto-activate when Hermiston Police officers draw their guns

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HERMISTON, OR - Hermiston Police officers have started using a new device on their gun holsters.

Now, when an officer draws their weapon, this device will signal their body camera to automatically turn on. It also creates a 25-30 foot radius so that if another officer with a similar body cam steps into that radius, their body cam will also automatically turn on.

Hermiston PD has been wearing body cams since 2015, and although it's mandatory for officers to manually turn on their cameras during any kind of call, having a device automatically do it is one less thing they have to worry about.

"They have to make split-second decisions for whatever is in front of them; this is one less step they have to take of activating their camera when they have their gun out," said Chief Jason Edmiston with the Hermiston Police Department. "Anytime our guns are out it's obviously a serious situation so the safety of our folks is pinnacle."

The device senses when the metal from the gun leaves the holster, sending a signal to the body cam to turn on. The cam turns with the officers, showing exactly what they see in those moments.

Hermiston PD says these devices will also help reassure the public that officers are holding themselves accountable.

All 17 Hermiston PD officers now carry this device.