GLADWIN, MI- The City of Gladwin Police Department recently ordered a total of 4 WOLFCOM VISION police body cameras and received a donation of 3 WOLFCOM VISION Body Cameras from the Gladwin Assembly of God Church. The department also received a donation from Crime Stoppers of Gladwin County for WOLFCOM Evidence Management Software.
“We at WOLFCOM are inspired by community donations to police departments. We believe every police officer should have a body camera and we hope more organizations will follow Pastor Withrow of The Gladwin Assembly of God Church’s example,” said WOLFCOM Founder Peter Austin Onruang.
Pastor Brad Withrow of the Gladwin Assembly of God Church said he felt compelled to help the department equip all of its police officers with police body cameras. “The Gladwin City Council opens their meetings with a prayer and I happened to be leading the prayer at a city council meeting when Chief Bean (the Gladwin Police Department) was asking the Council to approve the purchase of body cameras for the department and I thought, why doesn’t our church donate the cameras?” said Withrow.
“The police department only had enough funds to order body cameras for their full time police officers and planned to share them with the part time officers. I thought why should they have to borrow each other’s body cameras when the church could help out and get cameras for all the officers? I asked the Chief if our Church could help out with the rest of the cameras and he thought it was a good idea. The Department bought 3 body cameras and we bought and donated the other 3 body cameras for the part time officers,” said Withrow.
“Obviously the times in which we’re living in, police officers are not seen as an elegant job in the minds of some people… if the officers feel they need these body cameras to do their jobs better and protect themselves and the community, then we want to help them get the body cameras,” said Withrow.
Gladwin Police Department Sgt. Thom Huber says the Gladwin Assembly of God Church’s donation was really appreciated by the department. “This donation was very important. Without it we wouldn’t have been able to have every officer on the street equipped with a body camera… We’ve gotten support in the past from several community organizations like Crime Stoppers which recently donated money for us to buy the WOLFCOM Evidence Management Software to manage the video from the body cameras. Law Enforcement is not going anywhere without public support,” said Huber.
“I’m a firm believer that the church needs to be involved in the community. This was a way the church can be involved and a way to tell the police officers that we appreciate what they’re doing and if these body cameras will help them get home to their families every night, that’s a small price to pay to help keep them safe,” said Withrow.
Withrow urged other churches and community organizations across the country to help their local departments outfit all of their police officers with body cameras. “I’d like to challenge other churches to see how they can work with their local police departments to see them make an impact in their own communities,” said Withrow.
Sgt. Huber said the decision to get body cameras was as an extension of the department’s car camera program. “Basically we were looking towards the future. We have used car cameras for years, but when you’re away from your car, you’re not recording, so we wanted to get body cameras to record what the officers see away from the car…. Our department is very supportive of having body cameras in general. Body cameras just an efficient way of backing up and expanding the eyes of the officer,” said Huber.
“We did a lot of pricing and spec comparison to find something affordable and with the capabilities we needed like clear playback, easy downloading, small size and flexibility. We tested two other cameras before the WOLFCOM VISION. We liked the VISION’s small size and flexibility, the rotatable lens that lets you adjust the VISION body camera so you can wear it on various parts of your uniform,” said Huber.