Some police dogs now have cameras, too

Police dogs have always helped their human counterparts through their eyes and nose. Now some police dogs are getting their own backup – cameras that transmit live video.

The devices generally attach to dogs’ backs on a vest and transmit video to a handler watching from a screen, possibly on their wrist or around their necks.

David Ferland is executive director for the United States Police Canine Association, a training program for police dogs. He says departments generally use the cameras when dogs go out to look for suspects, missing people or explosives – for the dog’s safety and for intelligence gathering.

Ferland doesn’t have statistics but he suspects fewer than 5 percent of agencies have the cameras because they are so expensive. Most cost between $6,000 and $20,000.

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