Engineering students at a high school in Gwinnett County, Georgia, are helping local law enforcement special response teams with their helmet-mounted cameras.
The Maxwell High School of Technology initially responded to a Facebook query from police officers in the Atlanta metro area about mounting cameras on top of their helmets.
“I made a post on Facebook asking if anyone had any idea on how to mount this part on the helmet, and that’s when Maxwell reached out to me,” Lilburn Police Department Investigator Corey Belcher said.
The multijurisdictional special response team from Lilburn, Sewanee and Deluth police departments, which regularly serves warrants to dangerous suspects around Atlanta, needed a specialized camera mount after an equipment upgrade.
According to police, cameras were previously mounted on the side of the helmet, but the addition of communication devices, flashlights and hearing protection took up too much space. The barrel-style cameras also couldn’t be hooked onto the specialized vests the team wears.
Enter some tech-savvy teens.
Senior Sarah Andrews told CBS46 News this was her first “real-world project.”
The team of students from a manufacturing class taught by instructor Brandon Myers used 3-D printers to do the job. After brainstorming in and out of class and making countless revisions, they finally got the design right to hold the cameras atop the helmets in perfect alignment.
“An idea would come to me when I’d come home, and I’d jump on the computer,” Andrews explained.
Belcher, who happens to be a former Maxwell student himself, was impressed with the students’ finished product. “We’ve used it a number of times and it’s worked well over the past couple months,” he said.
Orders are already being placed for more mounts — a rewarding feeling for the students. Officers recently visited the classroom to thank the students for their efforts and show footage captured by the cameras held by the mounts they created.
Davis Roney, another Maxwell student who worked on the project, was proud of the achievement.
“It’s really cool to see my project have an actual impact on the world. Not just the class or a small setting,” he said.
Andrews already has a mature perspective as a future engineer: “A lot of us don’t care about the grade itself. It’s more about the products that we’re producing and the experiences that we have.”
But for the experience of working with their community to help police officers do their jobs safely and effectively, these students certainly merit an A+.