You’ve heard of K-9 but this is Cam-9! Police dogs are fitted with the latest digital cameras to their heads to gather clues in a UK first


Canine camera: Police dogs at Staffordshire Police are being fitted with FidoCams to search for offenders and missing persons in buildings and dense woodland

They can already stop a criminal in his tracks. Now police dogs will be able to help their masters in new ways after being fitted with head-mounted video cameras.
The £10,000 devices transmit live footage back to a colour monitor for officers to watch.
Police believe the technology will help them gather evidence during drug busts or when dogs chase offenders.

Crime fighters: With police dog Max fitted with FidoCam, Officer Darren Aird can get information to deal with situations safely and appropriately

Staffordshire is the first force to pilot the so-called ‘FidoCam’ digital cameras. Twenty officers and dogs from its dog support unit will use the technology over the next year.
Inspector Chris Dawson said: ‘This bit of kit is fantastic. It attaches to the dog’s head and we can get a live view of what they are seeing.

A dog's view: Images are streamed back to the live colour monitor quicker and more accurately than the older, analogue version

‘If we are searching for a dangerous person we can send the dog into a building to search for them, and when they indicate a find by barking we will be able to see exactly what or who they have found. This will provide us with more information so we can deal with the situation safely and appropriately.
‘It will also be extremely useful when searching difficult or inaccessible areas for missing people; a dog can make its way through dense woodland and undergrowth very quickly. The handler will still maintain verbal contact with the dog so this camera will allow them to search vast areas a lot faster.

Sniff them out: Max's keen sense of smell means he can seek out an offender quickly

‘Advancements in technology mean the signal is much stronger and the picture is clear and crisp.’
The live footage can be recorded and used as evidence.
FidoCam is replacing an analogue version which had a limited signal range.
Sgt Tom Marshall of Staffordshire Police said: ‘The camera is different because it has a digital receiver meaning it’s less bulky, gives a good extended range, great picture quality and will have sound.
‘We will use it in buildings, warehouses, woods and just about anywhere to search for an offender and because it’s digital, it won’t lose signal.

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‘Whilst we accept that our job is risky, the dog cameras will give us a chance to hear and see the offender so we can locate them quickly.’
The equipment makes a policeman’s job much safer and quicker Sgt Marshall said.
He said: ‘The dogs can locate a human fast because of their fantastic sense of smell, so with the digital camera on their head streaming back to the sergeant, it means we will be able to act quicker and more accurately.

source: dailymail