Cop killers beware

Jim Mullen smiled broadly. I met him as I was leaving a Chicago-area restaurant recently. He didn’t get up or shake my hand in the introduction. He couldn’t. He’s a quadriplegic, shot in the face when he was an on-duty Chicago Police Officer responding to what they call a ‘domestic.’ It was 1996, and on that day everything that happened prior didn’t matter anymore. But he fought on.

And all these years later, he still radiates that warm, charismatic charm, truly one of law enforcement’s finest. He’s become an advocate for gun control and works alongside his wife Athena to make Chicago’s mean streets a little less frightening.

I think about what surveillance or mobile video might have done for Jim or any other of our fallen heroes. Municipalities and police department are beginning to use mobile video more, so perhaps this is a way to fight all these cop killers on the streets today. Of course, that was 1996 and video was not nearly as prevalent as it is today. But isn’t this a use that just can’t be denied?  What better value than to be able to ‘look in’ on a situation and avoid a possible ambush?

In Urbana-Champaign, at the University of Illinois, Chief Barbara O’Connor related her plan to use video surveillance system-wide and for officers to begin using mobile video devices from Lextech Labs in Lisle, Ill. O’Connor was a keynote speaker at the recent Milestone Integration Platform Symposium in Hollywood, Calif. She’s a mover and shaker and she’s gotten everything she asked for when it came to funding  and approval to make the streets at the university safer, for students and officers.  

It will be tough to get the killers and the guns off the streets—but video surveillance and mobile video may be a good start to thwart this epidemic. – Deborah L. O’Mara