DECATUR (KFDX/KJTL) — After a Vernon jury found a man guilty of using deadly force against a police officer with key evidence from an officer’s gun-mounted camera, other area departments are implementing the technology into their forces.
The Decatur Police Department will be obtaining that same technology in the coming weeks.
Decatur police officers were in talks with Viridian weapon technologies before the Vernon footage was released to the public, but after seeing the footage while they were testing the weapon, Decatur police officers knew to pull the trigger on acquiring these cameras.
“We were really unaware of the incidents that had happened in Vernon,” Decatur Police Department Capt. Delvon Campbell said. “After seeing that video, particularly side by side video of the body cam and the weapon mounted system, that just really reiterated the usefulness of this equipment.”
Through the last few decades, police officers have been reluctant to add surveillance to their patrol; however, with the Viridian gun-mounted camera, officers are learning to appreciate technology for the good of citizens and themselves.
“For the officers, it’s another tool,” Campbell said. “For them to utilize in capturing physical evidence. For cases in particularly any incident where their weapon is drawn.”
Although the process of testing and buying this equipment for other police stations usually takes around 18 months, Decatur police officers tested it enough to know that they wanted these cameras.
When officers pull the gun out of their holster, the camera has different light settings they can cycle through, from flashlight to laser light to strobe light.
Viridian sold weapons technology to consumers when the company first started. Officials with Viridian said to know that their technology is helping over 600 police stations around the country is what fuels them.
“It was a big deal for us to attend the trial and see the evidence from the gun camera to be used in that trial,” Viridian CEO and president Brian Hedeen said. “And to really provide the key evidence in a case. That meant a lot for us.”
Decatur police officers will begin equipping night patrol officers with the cameras, and they said they hope to equip every officer by the end of the year.