The Williams Police Department, located just west of Flagstaff, Arizona, has deployed the Viridian Weapon Technologies FACT Duty Weapon-Mounted Camera (WMC). The company hopes their new camera technology will bring more transparency to officer-involved shootings.
The Viridian FACT Duty WMC provides an unobstructed view of critical use-of-force events from the end of the firearm, addressing limitations officers can face with body-mounted cameras. In addition to the 1080p full-HD digital camera, the FACT is equipped with a microphone and 500 lumen tactical light.
Like other Viridian devices, the WMC uses the company’s INSTANT-ON technology, which automatically activates the camera and microphone whenever the firearm is removed from the holster. This means the officer won’t have any additional steps to deal with in a high-stress situation, eliminating the potential that the camera will miss crucial events.
“We’ve seen the need for something like this for a while,” said Williams Police Chief Herman Nixon. Because the FACT Duty fits currently issued officer weapons and holsters, “We had a chance to test this product right away, and it makes sense for our department. What we like about it is the fact that we don’t need to retrain anyone, it records automatically and it provides visibility into an officer-involved-shooting if it occurs.”
The Williams Police Department was one of the first in the country to evaluate the FACT Duty Weapon-Mounted Camera. To date, more than 400 agencies are in the process of testing, implementing, and deploying the FACT Duty Weapon-Mounted Camera.
Implementation is simple; FACT WMCs do not require supplemental equipment or services. Compared to body-worn cameras, there is little data to analyze as the camera only records when the weapon is drawn, which results in significantly lower comparative data management costs. They also incorporate secured access to safeguard data. The WMCs feature over three hours of recording time and are easily rechargeable.
“Being able to announce the deployment by Williams is an important milestone for the department, the community and our company,” said Viridian President and CEO Brian Hedeen. “When you have a completely new product that creates a new category, the feedback and support from end users is critical. The trust Chief Nixon and his department have put in this product reaffirms our reasoning for bringing this to market. Current events point to the fact that body and dash cameras alone are inadequate. And everyone involved in an officer-involved-shooting deserves to know what really happened. Our WMCs provide an unfettered perspective for these and other use-of-force incidents.”
“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, speaking about several officer-involved shootings that occurred during the development of the WMC.
“Much of the controversy 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 in helping the community understand what happened. Our WMC also aids police communication to the general public to help eliminate the uncertainty in officer-involved shootings that is the source of much conflict.”
For more information on FACT Duty WMCs, visit ViridianWeaponTech.com.