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Written by: Matthew Plowman, J.D. General Counsel and Chief Legal Officer
Chicago is my kind of town – the bright lights, the tall buildings, Wrigley Field, the lakefront. But, objectively speaking, it is actually a mess. 664 murders within the city limits in 2017 (down from over 800 in 2016 - so progress?) and over 3,500 people shot (over 10 per day). Police in Chicago have an unenviable job trying to keep order.
A frequent question we hear is how to deal with the fact that in an OIS incident, the WMC will not capture potentially important evidence and context from events taking place before the officer’s firearm was drawn. That cannot be disputed. Regardless, as we have developed this product and had conversations with numerous LE personnel and municipal officials, we were led to question how important those pre-gun draw events are, in an OIS situation, compared to what happens after the gun is drawn.
Some commentary of our product appears to presume that WMCs are an “either/or” proposition with BWCs. We have been consistent in our position that WMCs can be an alternative OR a supplement to a body camera program.
In just a few short years, body cameras have become a household word and a standard part of law enforcement discussion. We are feverishly getting the word out about the WMC as part of the solution, as a supplement or alternative to body cameras. We believe that WMCs will shortly join BWCs as a standard part of law enforcement discussion associated with the threat faced by any and all police departments of all sizes and locations, the potential of an officer involved shooting.