The personal thoughts and comments of Gene, "The Aggie."

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'Gun-Free Zones' are only gun-free, until somebody brings a gun. - Unknown

Thursday, May 15, 2008

New York Senator Pushes for Police Gun Cams

I think there must be something illegal in the water in NY state. Too many nut cases come from there. Think Hiliary, Chuck Schumer (both US Senators, unfortunately), NY State Senator Eric Adams and now this.

Legend Technologies PistolCam seems to be the sole source for this unique product. It supposedly turns on when withdrawn from the holster and records for up to 60 minutes. When memory is low, it reverts to still images when the gun fires and recoils. At least one article I've read (and lost track of!) indicated it turns ON in only two seconds after drawing the weapon. The shooting will probably be over before it turns on, if that is the case.

For starters acquisition of this camera/light/laser(?) is going to require the following increases in officer training and equipping budgets:

EQUIPMENT
New holsters designed to accept the device will have to be purchased. Perhaps it is similar enough in form to permit the few holsters designed for illunination (flash lights) and targetting devices (lasers) to suffice? Maybe, maybe not. Neither the articles nor the PistolCam website seem to address this not-so-trivial issue.
  • Who is going to pay for the new holsters? The individual officer or his/her department?
  • Replacement and repair parts and programs. These, in my experience, are never, well almost never, included in price estimates. I wonder why? :>)
  • CAN that $%&% light be turned off at will by the officer? I took a night/low-light shooting course a few years ago. The seasoned patrol officer instructor taught us to control our illumination to prevent giving away our position before we were ready. As a tax-paying citizen, I don't want to see the officers responding with anything that will put them further at risk.
  • CAN that $%&% laser be turned off at will by the officer? Same deal.

Training

  • Light control - see above
  • Laser control - see above
  • I believe the 1.5 ounces claimed weight may change the point of impact when the gun is fired. Only practice by individual officers using the new device in simulated extreme, and dark, circumstances will tell us for sure.
  • The PistolCam, as depicted on their web site, extends a fraction of an inch past the barrel of the attached handgun. This could cause a malfunction (negligent, not accidental, discharge) when an officer draws the weapon. I know of at least one incident where an experienced shooting using an almost identical weapon (the barrel was a fraction of an inch longer than he was used to) caused said shooter to shoot himself in the leg. That's not a urban legend, folks. The shooter, and his son and several others present at the incident related the same tale to me. I normally shot with them but skipped that night for some reason. Kinda glad I did! :>)

That's enough for now. My objections are surmountable if enough design effort, and money, are (or have been) applied to them.

Anyway, INMNSHO, a better solution would be an equally light-weight audio and video recording system worn on the officer's body/belt/uniform. I know they're overburdened already, but if such a device is worth the effort, then they might find a way to fit it in.

Be safe and God Bless Ya'll !

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