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New Startup Creates "Smart" Guns for Police

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    A new startup is creating a way to transform police weapons into "smart guns," accord to reports.

    Yardarm Technologies has created a small device, or sensor, that is paced in gun handles and gives police dispatchers geo-location tracking information on the weapon, according to Arts Technica. The little sensor will also send alerts when the gun is unholstered, fired and can "record the direction of aim" which likely will help with investigations and "data for prosecution," the company reported.

    The Capitola, California, company is rolling out the sensors slowly with the first two clients being Santa Cruz County Sheriff's Department (where Capitola is) and the Carrollton Police Departments in Texas.The 10-employee company says the sensors will give departments technology to enhance officer safety and community trust. The sensors are connected via Bluetooth to a smartphone in the department which sends data to Yardarm. The data is them sent back to police departments in encrypted form.

    After the Aug. 9 police shooting death of an unarmed 18-year-old man  in Ferguson, Mo., the sensor may prove popular in an environment where the communities are seeking more police accountability. Already there have been petitions calling for police to wear cameras at all times.

    "A law enforcement leader’s ultimate responsibility is to keep their staff and the public safe at all times,” Santa Cruz County Sheriff Phil Wowak said. “Yardarm's technology is a groundbreaking way to do just that, and every sheriff and police chief worldwide should be looking at this product for the future of their department.”
    The startup has raised $1.5 million but has changed its business model from consumers to police and military. Previously, the company offered private gun owners a way to remotely lock or unlock a weapon via smartphone. The National Rifle Association has suggests that smart guns "could limit Second Amendment rights." So instead of taking on the NRA, Yardarm has decided to take aim at law enforcement.