A new study from University of Pennsylvania professor Charles Loeffler shows how wearable sensors can be used to reduce gun violence in the police force.
The study explains that wearable sensors could track gun use and provide evidence and facts when an officer is accused of using a gun. Not only would this be beneficial after the fact, but it would also deter officers from unnecessarily using their guns since the cameras would hold them accountable.
Loeffler, who is an assistant professor of criminology, published the study this week in the journal PLOS ONE.
He carried out the study by having officers from the Penn Police Department, construction workers, and other individuals wear accelerometers, which are often used for fitness trackers. These sensors detect wrist movements and other signals to determine when a gun was used.
The sensors were 99.4% accurate in detecting gun use, showing that low-cost and low-energy motion sensors can be used to identify when a gun is fired.
The implications of these findings are extremely timely, following the tragic shooting of Michael Brown and the general unrest surrounding gun use by local police forces.
“If integrated sensibly into existing community-supervision systems, it could enhance the ability of correctional authorities to deter and or detect firearm use while allowing community-supervised populations to experience less onerous conditions of release,” Loeffler told PennNews.