KAUFMAN COUNTY (CBSDFW.COM) – The City of Crandall is now the fourth city in Texas to adopt gun mounted cameras.
The devices are designed to hold police officers more accountable for their actions, or in some cases, defend their decisions.
A body worn camera captured the moment in 2019 when a conversation between a West Texas police officer and a sexual assault suspect
turned into a deadly force encounter. But it was only the Vernon Police officer’s gun mounted camera that recorded the suspect grabbing a weapon and firing first.
That video convinced Crandall Police Chief Dean Winters to buy 20 of gun mounted cameras for each of his 20 officers.
“When I was able to see the Vernon PD video firsthand, it became very apparent that it was technology that was vital for us to have as part of our department,” said Chief Winters.
Gun mounted cameras are placed just underneath the barrel of an officer’s service weapon and automatically start recording the instant they are pulled from the holster.
The gun cameras, which are manufactured by Viridian Weapon Technologies offers a clearer picture of whether a suspect pulls a weapon during police shootings.
Viridian Weapon Technologies CEO, Brian Hedeen said, “When we saw the problems arising around the country from officer involved shootings we recognized the necessity of having automatic unobstructed video evidence. Ultimately felt that it was our duty to bring this product to market.”
Since excessive force doesn’t always involve a gun, the cameras won’t document some forms of police brutality. But they provide another watchful eye on officers.
Each camera and holster comes with a $600 price tag. But more police departments are slowly adopting them as they look for ways to improve trust and transparency with the public.
Decatur in Wise County also uses the gun cameras.
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