Vernon Police Department is setting a trend in the state, being the first to deploy a device officials say just makes sense.
Where body cams tend to have obstructed views, a weapon-mounted camera is made to show the officer’s point-of-view.
That is why Vernon Police Chief Randy Agan saw it necessary to test a new technology that did not have that limitation, among others
“I approached them, I have been doing the research trying to figure out for weapons-mounted light systems and as I was doing my research I came across viridian,” Agan said.
Viridian Weapon Technologies is based out of Minnesota and designed the weapon-mounted camera that Vernon Police Department is proud to be implementing.
“It has an HD camera, a microphone and high output tactical light for low-light situations and it fits in existing duty holsters,” President and CEO of Viridian Brian Hedeen said.
But the key feature of this device is its instant-on activation that prompts the camera to record both audio and video as soon as the officer draws for his weapon.
“During use of force encounter, when an officer draws his weapon, a lot of times his body camera can be blocked,” Hedeen said. “This is really designed to capture what is he seeing at that moment.”
It is that specific characteristic that sold Chief Agan on the product, making Vernon the first department in the state to have them, and when the funding did not come out of taxpayers’ pockets, City Manager Marty Mangum was also on board.
“It’s nice to have an organization like the Vernon Auto Group that will come in and donate money for good causes and they helped us out with this one and we’re really pleased about that,” Mangum said.
Chief Agan encourages other departments to take advantage of this technology that he says will not only protect officers but the department and the community.
Agan said they have been using the devices for about 2 to 3 months now and they have been instrumental in securing evidence in a number of active cases thus far.
Viridian officials say over 400 departments across the United States are currently testing the weapon mounted cameras.