GREER, SC-The Greer Police Department recently purchased four WOLFCOM VISION PoliceBody Cameras. The purchase also included 1 docking station, 4 four hour battery packs and Evidence Management Software by WOLFCOM.
“We’re happy that the Greer Police Department chose our WOLFCOM VISION police body cameras. This police department appreciates the advanced technical quality and features that makes our cameras the best in the business. As video evidence becomes increasingly vital, police departments need the best quality body cameras to capture and preserve this evidence. We know the VISION will serve them well,” said WOLFCOM Founder Peter Austin Onruang.
Lt. Cris Varner helped his department research police body cameras. “We’re a progressive department when it comes to technology. A couple of years ago our police department decided to look into getting police body cameras… we did some testing and evaluation on different types of body cameras including the WOLFCOM 3rd EYE (before the WOLFCOM VISION debuted)… We liked the quality of the video that the 3rd EYE produced but didn’t like the mounting options. We decided to go with a different body camera. After using that body camera for a while, we found that it was out of date technologically and the software it used was not secure, meaning that any officer could access other officer’s videos,” said Varner.
“So we started looking around again and remembered the WOLFCOM body cameras. We looked at the website and saw the WOLFCOM VISION had been released… We liked the VISION’s small size, the rotating lens and the simplicity of use… one touch to turn it on and off. A lot of times when you’re dealing with a situation, you don’t have time to sit there and press multiple buttons or switches to activate your body camera, so a simple one touch record button is important. We also liked the VISION’s capability to take snapshots. This way our officers don’t have to use their cell phones or a separate digital camera to take pictures, so you can keep everything contained on one piece of equipment…The price helped too,” said Varner.
The department has 29 police officers in Uniform Patrol. “We’re going to phase out the older body cameras and replace them with the VISIONS. We’re just learning how to use them, we had some of our officers go out and take video of mock traffic stops and play back the video to get a sense of how best to mount and use them. Our guys liked the body camera’s small size, the clarity of the video and that their simple to use… also the weight is another important factor. When it comes to police equipment, any reduction of weight is great. Most of our officers like wearing them on their mid chest… a few wear it on their shoulder. One of our canine officers clipped it on to the brim of his hat,” said Varner.
“When it comes to investigating complaints, they’re extremely helpful for review. We’ve had situations where citizens watch the footage and then admit that the officer was doing their job correctly and not acting disrespectfully or inappropriately as they alleged… Also in cases retrieving evidence, the body cameras record where people have thrown down evidence. They’re great for training tools for officers to review safety issues,” said Varner.
“South Carolina just passed a law requiring all departments to get body cameras. We’re ahead of the curve on that. We’re seeing an increase in demand from courts requesting video footage. Our police body camera policy is that police officers must have their cameras active during any public contact. Any use of force is required to be reviewed… Our guys are starting to depend on them. Just like when they started using car cameras, no one wanted to use them at first, but now they’re used all the time… now body cameras are just becoming another part of the uniform,” said Varner.