ViridianWeapon Technologies announces that the West Hennepin Public Safety Department located just outside of Minneapolis, Minnesota has deployed theFACT DutyWeapon-Mounted Camera (WMC) to all of its officers.
The FACT Duty fits officer weapons and holsters and records automatically, providing an unobstructed view from the end of an officer’s firearm. The need for this product continues to be validated in current events throughout the United States and locally in Minnesota.
“For our department, the FACT Duty just makes sense,” said West Hennepin Chief of Police Gary Kroells. “This gives us the coverage we need and fits our budget. We looked at Body Cams, but their administrative requirements and data management made them impractical for us. The FACT Duty will provide clear evidence if an officer is forced to use his or her service pistol. We were one of the pilot programs for this product and made our decision based on training and field data.”
“This unique Weapon-Mounted Camera provides an unobstructed view of critical use-of-force events from the end of the firearm, addressing limitations officers can face with body cameras,” said Todd Woodard, Editor of Gun Tests Magazine. “It’s not hard to forecast that if LE units finds this device helpful, then civilians might want to use them in self-defense situations to document their need to employ justified deadly force.
The WMC employs a 1080p full-HD digital camera with a microphone and 500 lumen tactical light. Viridian’s proprietaryINSTANT-ONtechnology automatically activates the camera and microphone whenever the officer draws the firearm from its holster. Not only does this eliminate risk of failure to manually turn on the camera during a critical event, but it also keeps the officer from fumbling with cumbersome equipment.
Said Viridian President and CEO Brian Hedeen, “Current events point to the fact that body and dash cameras alone are inadequate, and because of this, more than 250 police departments around the country are in the process of testing and implementing FACT Duty WMCs. These WMCs provide an unfettered perspective for officer-involved shootings and other use-of-force incidents, and our products help showwhat really happened.”
Woodard said body and dash cameras were not designed to capture officer-involved shootings. However, Viridian WMCs were designed specifically for this purpose.
WMCs do not require the purchase of supplemental equipment or services. The WMC generates just a fraction of the data to manage compared to other law enforcement recording options because it only records when the officer’s weapon is drawn. This results in significantly lower comparative data management costs. The WMCs fit on existing standard-issue firearms and fit seamlessly in multiple duty holster platforms. The cameras feature a recording time of over three hours to handle virtually any scenario. They also incorporate secured data access and are easily rechargeable.
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Woodard said, “The need for this technology has been increasing. While the product was in development, events continued to unfold that only increased the urgency for Weapon-Mounted Cameras for police officers across America. Viridian’s home state of Minnesota has been in the spotlight for these events.”
Woodard pointed out that only miles from Viridian’s headquarters, City of St. Anthony police officer, Jeronimo Yanez, fatally shot Philando Castile. Yanez was eventually acquitted in the case, but it was the source of violent outbreaks and protests. It has now been nearly a year since the Justine Damond shooting in Minneapolis, in which the police officers’ body cameras were not even activated. Officer Mohamed Noor has since been charged with murder. Further developments in the Damond case now have the City facing a massive lawsuit based partially on the Body Cams not being activated rather than the shooting itself.
“As we closely monitor these events around the country along with the aftermath when affected parties do not believe justice was served, we realize that our solution cannot be implemented soon enough by more departments,” said Matthew Plowman, general counsel at Viridian. “Much of the controversy, like in so many past incidents and trials, was what the officer saw when pulling the trigger. The FACT Duty is a tool to provide objective evidence both for potential legal proceedings and police communication to the general public to help eliminate the uncertainty in officer-involved shootings that is the source of much conflict.”
Clickhereto see more information on FACT Duty WMCs.