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Photo via Vievu.
Photo via Vievu.

Seattle-based Vievu, which supplies body-worn cameras to police departments around the globe, has been acquired by Safariland, a provider of police and military safety equipment.

Founded by 13-year Seattle Police Department veteran Steve Ward, Vievu has focused on not only providing cameras to law enforcement agencies, but also ensuring proper storage for the collected footage. Vievu has partnered with Microsoft to build a cloud platform to backup and access that data from the Azure Government cloud.

Vievu founder Steve Ward
Vievu founder Steve Ward

According to Ward, who is now the CEO of Vievu, the acquisition will allow his company to grow faster by hiring more people and using Safariland’s distribution network.

The company currently has about 20 employees, who will stay with the company as it operates independently in Seattle. Terms of the deal were not announced. Vievu provides its body-worn cameras to more than 4,000 police departments in 17 countries.

“As Vievu enters its next phase of growth, particularly as demand for body worn cameras continues to increase, this strategic partnership with Safariland will provide us with the resources and deep industry experience to support the expansion of our platform,” said Ward in a press release. “I have long admired Safariland’s leadership in the safety and survivability market and look forward to working with our new partners to capture the significant opportunity in front of us.”

Ontario, Calif.-based Safariland has been acquiring a range of law enforcement-focused companies in its runup to a planned initial public offering, according to the Wall Street Journal.

The Vievu camera.
The Vievu camera.

Vievu and Safariland are competing with Taser, which uses Amazon Web Services for the majority of its cloud data storage. Both companies are vying for part the $75 million President Barack Obama recently announced would be set aside for buying 50,000 body worn cameras for law enforcement agencies around the country.

Vievu and Taser are both providing cameras in Seattle’s body camera pilot program.

A recent report from the city’s police monitor suggested that every officer should be wearing a body camera. Other events around the country have led to more officials calling for always-on cameras that will help analyze and monitor police use of force.

Previously on GeekWire: The future of police video: Inside the Seattle PD’s workshop on wearable cameras

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