The officer saw that his body cam was releasing smoke and he removed it. After the officer took off the device, the camera exploded. The NYPD has now issued a recall of 2,990 Vievu LE-5 body cameras. The same devices are used at the police academy. Training scheduled for Monday was canceled after the incident.
The recall does not impact older camera models. There are 15,500 body cameras currently being used by the NYPD. The department started using body cameras last year and stated a goal of having 22,000 in use by 2019. Mayor Bill de Blasio has stated that he wants every police officer in the city to wear a body cam by the end of next year.
Vievu is supplying the city with the cameras.** The company entered into a $6.4 million contract in 2016. The problem with the camera appears to be the battery, which can potentially ignite. The NYPD stated that it is looking into the issue to determine the cause of the defect. Many officers will go without a camera for the time being.
Vievu’s cameras use lithium-ion batteries. These batteries are generally safe for use, but in some rare instances, they can explode or catch on fire. These batteries are used in many products that we regularly use, including tablets, phones, and laptops. Lithium can store a great deal of energy. This is why it is used to power so many devices. When the energy is released slowly and in a controlled manner, it means devices can be powered for long periods of time. If the energy is released too quickly, the result can be an explosion or fire.
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